Civil servants used ‘sinister’ tactics to try and persuade Boris to wear a mask says Jacob Rees-Mogg

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“Boris Johnson provided us with more freedom than any other potential leader would have done, and I think we were very lucky to have him.” 

Jacob Rees-Mogg has claimed Boris Johnson came under “outrageous” pressure from civil servants to wear a face mask during the pandemic.

Speaking exclusively to GB News, the former Leader of the House of Commons, said “sinister” tactics were employed to get the former Prime Minister to comply.

In an interview with Tom Harwood, Mr Rees-Mogg defended Mr Johnson’s record during Covid saying: “Boris Johnson provided us with more freedom than any other potential leader would have done, and I think we were very lucky to have him. 

“Other countries locked down and enforced much more rigorously than we did. And the pressure on the then Prime Minister was to lock down more fiercely.”

“Other countries locked down and enforced much more rigorously than we did. And the pressure on the then Prime Minister was to lock down more fiercely.”

On the issue of masks he continued: “I don’t know if you saw this very sinister thing that some official admitted they used nudge theory to try and persuade the Prime Minister to wear a mask. 

“They showed him all these pictures of other world leaders wearing masks, and one of him not wearing a mask to try and nudge the Prime Minister into wearing a mask. 

“I think that there was surprisingly little reporting (on this), but it’s outrageous that officials thought it was their job to place a reminder with the Prime Minister who had a democratic mandate. 

“Basically we would have been worse off and more locked down if we hadn’t had a freedom loving Prime Minister like Boris Johnson. Just think if it had been Jeremy Corbyn or Sir Keir Starmer who quite likes telling people what to do.”

“Basically we would have been worse off and more locked down if we hadn’t had a freedom loving Prime Minister like Boris Johnson. Just think if it had been Jeremy Corbyn or Sir Keir Starmer who quite likes telling people what to do.”

The comments formed part of a wide-ranging interview in which Mr Rees-Mogg also said he spoke regularly to both Mr Johnson and to Liz Truss.

He said he fully supported Rishi Sunak, but outlined where he’d like to see changes made. 

“Taxation needs to come down,” he told GB News. “That must be a priority for Conservatives. We need to get expenditure under control and allow people to keep their own money. And planning reform is something we needed to have been more forthright about.”

But Mr Rees-Mogg has less support for the Bank of England which, he claims, has “let the country down”.

He said: “The independent Bank of England has one task, to keep inflation at 2%. It has manifestly failed at that task. That is not the Government, that is the independent Bank of England.  As a Minister, we all had to pretend the Bank of England was doing marvelously well. It wasn’t. It’s an institution that has let the country down.”

Meanwhile Mr Rees-Mogg – who led the Brexit campaign – commented on the need for the Government to push ahead with the retained EU bill 

He said: “As I understand it, the Government is pushing ahead with the retained EU law bill. And I think this is tremendously important. GB News had an excellent interview recently with a very distinguished lawyer who said that he could do it by himself in a year and that a law firm could do it in a month.   

“I think that’s right. I think the problems around it have been exaggerated.”

He added: “There is obstructionism. Remainers hate it because it is the key divergence from Europe that would make it very much harder for a Government with a different policy to shadow Europe quietly once we’ve got rid of retained EU law. And that’s why there’s so much objection and obstruction from the ‘blob’ and from the House of Lords which has an overwhelming majority of Remainer peers.”

That’s why there’s so much objection and obstruction from the ‘blob’ and from the House of Lords which has an overwhelming majority of Remainer peers.

Outlining where he sees benefits of Brexit to lie he added: “It means having a more competitive, more flexible economy, not following EU rules.  I would like to see parallel imports allowed too. Currently, if you want to buy a branded product in the United States that may be sold at a lower price in the US and bring it into the UK, that isn’t allowed because of retained EU law. That just puts up prices for UK consumers. That is the type of friction that we want to get rid of through scrapping retained EU law.”

Source: GB News

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