Jacob Rees-Mogg has baffled commentators with an obscure cricket-themed defence of Boris Johnson’s Partygate conduct.
In an interview with Newsnight, the Brexit opportunities minister was challenged over the saga, which has seen the prime minister fined for breaking his own lockdown rules.
Challenged by a journalist that it was “pretty clear” that Johnson “set the rules, and then broke the rules”, Rees-Mogg replied: “No, I think you misunderstand what happened.
“The prime minister thought what he was doing was within the rules, and the police thought otherwise.
“This is just like the DRS system in cricket. Sometimes the batsman, in good faith, thinks he’s not out LBW, sometimes the umpire thinks he’s not out in good faith.
“It goes to the third umpire who says it’s out and then the batsman accepts the decision. It’s exactly what’s happened to the prime minister. It’s what you would expect to happen.”
Asked whether that meant it was all “fine” for MPs to investigate the scandal, Rees-Mogg retorted: “The privileges committee is a distinguished body of the House of Commons, but it’s chaired by a Labour Party politician – I’d bear that in mind.”
Unsurprisingly, viewers were shocked at Rees-Mogg’s excuse-making.