Jacob Rees-Mogg has said he’s “absolutely fine” after being caught up in a scuffle with protestors at a university event.
The Conservative Brexiteer MP addressed the University of West England’s (UWE) politics and international relations society in Bristol on Friday, but video showed him involved in an altercation.
William Bates, a student at UWE told HuffPost UK that the group, which he described as “protestors”, entered the room during Rees-Mogg’s speech.
A clip posted online shows Rees-Mogg being buffeted by people pushing and shoving.
“A huge amount of (physical) violence at a Jacob Rees Mogg speech,” tweeted the person who shot the footage.
Rees-Mogg later told The Daily Telegraph he was “absolutely fine”, adding that he had “endured worse confrontations with The Guardian.”
Further footage from the event showed Rees-Mogg talking to a group of men obscuring their faces, calmly with his hands raised, while they jabbed their fingers toward him and someone in the audience shouted “free speech”.
Rees-Mogg continued his planned speech after, and Bates posted a photo of the MP addressing the society around an hour after the fracas footage was posted.
The society which promoted the event wrote on a Facebook page it would be: “be hosting the man himself, the one time bookies [sic] favourite to be next Conservative Leader, North East Somerset MP Jacob Rees-Mogg.”
The society added: “This will be a chance to talk to an experienced parliamentarian about the issues of the day, what it’s like to be an MP and how you can get there - or perhaps how exactly one pronounces ‘Floccinaucinihilipilification’.”
Rees-Mogg’s Conservative colleague Nicky Morgan tweeted: “Simply unacceptable.
“Disagreement is a healthy part of our democracy, violence is not and this should be condemned by all.”
UWE said it was “absolutely appalled by the conduct of a small number of attendees”.
Aspokesperson said: “We support the democratic right of free speech and peaceful protest.
“However, we strongly condemn the actions of protesters who disrupted normal debate and behaved in this way.
“There is no place for such action on a university campus or in a civilised society.
“We are delighted that Mr Rees Mogg was able to speak and debate with our legitimate student body in a respectful manner.
“We would like to thank him for his composure and actions to diffuse what must have been a challenging and unprovoked incident.
“We will work with the police to identify the individuals involved and take appropriate action.”
HuffPost has contacted Rees-Mogg’s office for further comment.