Monday 16 July 2018

Watch: Jacob Rees-Mogg admits 'I'm a complete weed' after getting caught up in scuffle at university event

Jacob Rees-Mogg caught up in fracas as masked protesters disrupt university event
Jacob Rees-Mogg caught up in fracas as masked protesters disrupt university event

Zoe Brennan-Whitmore

BRITISH Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg was caught in the middle of a scuffle when masked protesters disrupted a University event he was attending in Bristol.

Mr Rees Mogg was at the University of England in Bristol to give a talk organised by the student Politics and International Relations Society when the fight broke out between a small group of protesters and event attendees. Tipped to be his party’s next leader, the MP is well known for his controversial right-wing views.

Video footage posted on social media from the event showed the Conservative MP attempting to break up the scuffle that resulted after a small group of protesters gathered at the back of the room, hurling abuse at the MP during his speech. The masked protesters shouted: “bigot” and “fascist”, another replied that he was not worth arguing with. Rees-Mogg then walked to the back of the room to speak with the protesters and a scuffle broke out with the politician stuck in the middle.

Mr Rees-Mogg recounted the event afterwards saying “They shouted at me, but they weren't going to hit me. he said."They weren't physically threatening. A little bit of shouting doesn't do anybody any harm... I take a very relaxed view of it.

The Tory MP said he stepped in as he "didn't want people to be hit", adding: "No one seemed likely to hit me but I am a weed."

"There were three hundred people here who wanted to engage in a serious debate and discussion, there were four or five people who wanted to shout - but they only wanted to shout," he told the BBC.

Chloe Kaye (19), who was attending the event, told Independent.ie “It took around 10 minutes for security to come and take them away. Crowds around Rees-Mogg were screaming and getting violent towards each other,” she said. ”Remarks were being thrown and the crowds around him started pushing and lunging at each other, with Rees-Mogg trying to break up the fighting. Rees-Mogg remained remarkably calm.”

Later, the University said it believed the small group of protesters broke into the lecture theatre through the back doors before police and security were called.

Somerset police have said: “We were called to the University of the West of England’s Frenchay campus at about 6.30pm today following a report of a public order incident.

“No arrests were made and an investigation is under way to see if any criminal offences were committed.”

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