During one of the biggest nights in Brexit, Caroline Lucas had to call out Jacob Rees-Mogg’s “disrespectful” behaviour. The clip has now gone viral.
It was yet another long night in British politics on Tuesday (3 September), as Tory Party rebels joined forces with members of the opposition to push through a bill that will stop the UK from leaving the EU without a deal. Members of parliament debated until 10 pm in the Houses of Common, which resulted in Boris Johnson being defeated in his first vote as Prime Minister. The Commons voted 328 to 301 to take control of the agenda, allowing them to bring a bill requesting a Brexit delay. Johnson had said he would call for a general election if he was forced to request an extension to the 31 October deadline.
A pretty big night for everyone in the UK, right? And yet, a female MP had to call out her male peer for his “disrespectful” body language during the debate.
Green Party member and MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas had to pause during her speech to point out the behaviour of Leader of the House of Commons and MP Jacob Rees-Mogg.
“Now, there’s been a lot of talk about democracy tonight and the Leader of the House, who – I have to say – with his body language throughout this evening has been so contemptuous of this house and of the people,” said Lucas.
She added, for the benefit of parliament’s written record, that Rees-Mogg had been “spread across three seats, lying out as if that was something very boring to listen to tonight”.
This caused fellow MPs to shout “sit up, man!” but Rees-Mogg remained in a slouching position while laughing off the comments and shaking his head.
Labour MP Anna Turley called his slouching the “physical embodiment of arrogance, entitlement, disrespect and contempt for our parliament”.
However, he soon sat upright when the results of the vote were delivered.
The clip has been shared on Twitter, with Lucas captioning the video:
“Body language speaks volumes.
“I’d spent nearly 3 hours watching him in a prone position & it got too much!
“Plus - how dare he label those of us trying to stop No Deal ‘undemocratic’.
“His Government has no mandate for this vicious Brexit - and is trying to bypass parliament.”
The internet has since come out in support for Lucas, and have joined her in calling the behaviour disrespectful (along with a few memes to make light of the situation).
Today is set to be another interesting (and no doubt, confusing) day as we find out what happens next. Hopefully, certain politicians won’t need to be reminded how to behave.