Farage debanking was ‘outrageous’ says Jacob Rees-Mogg as he issues warning
Nigel Farage’s debanking by Coutts was ‘outrageous”, Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg has said, in a week in which the controversial former Brexit Party and UKIP leader enters the celebrity jungle.
Mr Farage has been in the headlines for his stint in the I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here jungle in Australia, more notably for taking part in one of the first bush tucker trials.
Mr Farage was left furious earlier in the summer after his accounts were closed by Coutts – a private subsidiary of NatWest.
Initially the bank claimed it had acted because Mr Farage had insufficient funds. However, he subsequently obtained a dossier proving Coutts took the decision because his public statements “did not align” with its values.
Now Mr Rees-Mogg a Tory MP, a staunch Brexiteer and the former chairman of the European Research Group (ERG) has taken the opportunity to issue a warning over the need to protect free speech.
He even warned Scottish nationalists they could be targeted in a similar way.
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NatWest Group CEO Alison Rose subsequently resigned after admitting she had discussed the matter with a BBC journalist. It was this week confirmed that she had forfeited £7.6m of her £10m pay-off as a result.
Speaking in the Commons, Sir Jacob said: “The idea that you should be de-banked because of legal political opinions is outrageous.
“Once you start saying that you can be de-banked for holding Nigel Farage’s views, what about being in favour of Scottish independence?
“Would that be a view that one bank might not like and would say that members of the SNP, a perfectly legal party, should not be banking with them?”
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The former Leader of the House of Commons added: “It affects every political opinion and your political opinion may today be fashionable, but tomorrow it may not be, and we always have to consider in legislation the protection of free speech.”
Mr Farage had become the “poster boy” for the issue of debanking which is “affecting people up and down the country”, Sir Jacob stressed.
Thousands of miles away, Mr Farage was preparing to tuck into a pizza topped with a camel udder, a sheep udder and a cow’s teat in his first Bushtucker Trial on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here.
He was joined by YouTuber Nella Rose in the Jungle Pizzeria in scenes aired this evening.
Mr Farage was voted by the public to take part in the Jungle Pizzeria challenge, where the duo will eat pizzas with unappetising toppings.
In a preview of tomorrow’s episode, Mr Farage is presented with a “marga-teat-a”.
As he takes his first bite, the GB News presenter asks hosting duo Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly: “Did you prepare this yourself guys?”
After taking a few bites he says: “It’s a bit blooming tough.”
The word “debanking”, defined as the act of depriving a person of banking facilities”, has now been incorporated into the Collins English Dictionary, it was confirmed earlier this month.
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