BBC Newsnight: Jacob Rees-Mogg slams rebel Douglass Ross as ‘lightweight figure’

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Speaking on BBC Newsnight Mr Rees-Mogg said that the Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack still supported Mr Johnson while dismissing the importance of Mr Ross. He said: “The secretary of state for Scotland who is a big figure is very supportive of the Prime Minister.

“Douglas Ross has always been quite a lightweight figure.”

Presenter Kirsty Wark confronted Rees-Mogg with information from anonymous sources which said that all 31 Conservative MSPs (Members of the Scottish Parliament) wanted the Prime Minister to step down.

However, the Leader of the House of Commons questioned the reliability of the BBC sources.

He said: “I think these sort of anonymous briefings are not necessarily entirely reliable.”

Mr Rees Mogg also expressed his sympathy with Fran Hall, another Newsnight guest from the COVID-19 bereaved families for justice campaign.

Ms Hall’s husband Steve died of coronavirus in 2020 just three weeks after they were married.

He said: “To go back to Fran Hall nobody can hear her without feeling sympathy.”

Mr Rees Mogg also admitted that the restrictions had been tough particularly for those who had suffered bereavements during the pandemic. 

However, he pointed out that the forthcoming inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic would judge if they were proportionate.

He said: “People suffered and that’s why we had the restrictions that we had.

“Now whether all the restrictions were the right restrictions is something that the inquiry when it comes out will have to look into.”

Mr Rees Mogg was keen to emphasise that the Prime Minister does genuinely understand the hurt he has caused by his blasé attitude to the lockdown rules. 

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“People did do their best in very difficult circumstances and that was what the Prime Minister was saying at the despatch box.

“He understood how upset people were and that’s why he apologised.”

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