Rees-mogg Dismisses 100 Fines For No 10 Parties As ‘A Non-story’
BBC Breakfast

Jacob Rees-Mogg has angered many once again by brushing off the fact that 100 Downing Street staff have been fined for breaking lockdown rules as part of the Government's ongoing Partygate scandal, declaring it a "non-story."

The minister for Brexit opportunities made the comment during an appearance on BBC Breakfast where he was questioned by presenter Naga Munchetty, who asked if the recent news about the fines "reflected well on this Conservative government”.

As well as attempting to dismiss the matter, Rees-Mogg also had a dig at the BBC for its news coverage of the story.

"I’m afraid I think this is a non-story. I mean, the BBC has absolutely loved it but what is important is that we get on with the business of government," he said in response.

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Though Munchetty then challenged the Tory minister on this point and asked him: "Why do you think this is a non-story? Have you not heard people upset, genuinely devastated, that people in Downing Street thought it was OK to break the rules that they set while other people didn’t break the rules and missed out on meeting dying family members?"

“I think people were upset," Rees-Mogg conceded. "I think this was an important story in February when it first became known, and that there was great concern and there was a feeling of people who were bereaved particularly about it.

“I also think we need to look in the inquiry at the rules to see if they were proportionate," he added.

"We need to look at whether these rules were right in the first place in case we have a pandemic again because I think they were too restrictive," as people were unable to "comfort the dying" when hospitals barred visitors.

Munchetty then asked Rees-Mogg for further clarification on why he thought this news was a "non-story," to which he replied: "What I’m saying is the fines are a consequence of things we knew in February and it was a story in February and people now know about it and have made their judgment on it and there are other things going on that are more important."

The comments from the Tory minister have sparked anger on social media as viewers slammed Rees-Mogg for his dismissal of how upset people remain over the scandal.

Comedian David Baddiel described Rees-Mogg's point that the lockdown rules were too strict to excuse the government's own rule-breaking as a "f***ing astounding bit of s***illogic."

It's not the first time Rees-Mogg has dismissed Partygate as he previously criticised the response to the scandal as "disproportionate" and "not serious politics," he described it as a "disproportionate fluff of politics," on another occasion, and also tried to compare the scandal to cricket.

In an interview on Andrew Marr's LBC show, he told the host that people "need to get perspective" after Marr mentioned how the burial of his father happened in the same week as one of the alleged parties.

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