Jacob Rees-Mogg has accused a Manchester venue of acting “out of political spite” after a hardline Brexiteer Tory fringe event was cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice.
The Commons Leader accused the Mechanics Institute, the birthplace of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), of being “malevolent lefties” after the event was forced to move to the basement of the Princess Street Hotel a short walk away.
Rees-Mogg thanked the organiser, Sheila Lawlor of the right-wing Politeia think-tank, for showing an “heroic nature” by ensuring the fringe, entitled “Leaving in a Month, No Ifs, No Buts”, was not “thwarted by a few lefties”.
To gasps and a woman shouting “shame”, Rees-Mogg told the event: “I want to thank particularly the Princess Street hotel who have come to the rescue at short notice after the previous venue cancelled the booking late yesterday out of political spite.
“I want to thank Sheila for her characteristic heroic nature in making sure she wasn’t going to be thwarted by a few lefties.
“Perhaps I should have said malevolent lefties.
“And to reiterate thanks to this hotel I was actually here for lunch with my wonderful association and I didn’t realise at that point how heroic the hotel had been but I’m pretty glad I brought my custom here and would encourage all of you.”
The Mechanics Institute has been contacted for comment.