Politics

Brexit minister Jacob Rees-Mogg mocked in the Commons for acting like an ‘overgrown prefect’



B

rexit minister Jacob Rees-Mogg has been derided in the Commons on Wednesday for acting like an “overgrown prefect”.

Sir Keir Starmer tore into Mr Rees-Mogg, who has been dubbed the “Honourable Member for the 18th century”, after he put notes on the desks of civil servants believed to be working from home rather than being in the office.

The Labour leader highlighted support for a windfall tax from senior Tory MPs including Mel Stride, chairman of the Commons Treasury Committee, Robert Halfon, chairman of the Commons Education Committee, former Foreign Secretary Lord Hague, as well as business chiefs including the chairman of Tesco John Allan and chairwoman of John Lewis Dame Sharon White.

He added: “On the other side, the Member for North East Somerset.

“When he is not sticking notes on people’s desks like some overgrown prefect…he’s dead set against it,” he added at Prime Minister’s Questions, sparking a wave of laughter.”

Last month, Mr Rees-Mogg sparked controversy by putting a note for civil servants on empty desks saying: “Sorry you were out when I visited”.

Printed on government paper with Mr Rees-Mogg’s title, it stated: “I look forward to seeing you in the office very soon.”

But FDA union boss Dave Penman slammed the note as crass and insulting.

A source close to Mr Rees-Mogg, though, stressed it was “very important for the taxpayer and British public that Government is working properly and the estate is well used”.

At PMQs, Boris Johnson again stressed the Government’s desire to get more civil servants back into Whitehall and argued it made for more effective working.

The Civil Service has left itself open to accusations of inefficiency as its workforce in many departments has been far slower than many private firms in returning to the office.



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