Nigel Farage dumped a load of dead fish into the River Thames in Westminster from a small boat on Wednesday morning.
The stunt was staged to protest against the proposed Brexit transition deal that would see the EU retain influence over UK fishing waters until 2021.
It had been expected that Tory MPs included Jacob Rees-Mogg would take part - but in the end only the Ukipper was the sole politician to throw any fish.
Journalists onboard the boat reported the haddock caught off the coast of Essex four days ago smelled quite bad.
Nigel Farage throws some fish
Amid a backbench concern, 14 Tory MPs wrote to Theresa May this morning angling for her to reject the deal.
They warned the prime minister the proposed agreement on fishing was “completely unacceptable”.
Jacob-Rees Mogg had been expected to have a plaice on board the boat, the Holladays, at Embankment Pier.
But the leading backbench Brexiteer had to remain on land as the owners of the boat had forgotten to get license to dock.
On Sunday Rees-Mogg had warned the UK risked becoming a “joke nation”.
Another view of the fish throwing
Speaking on the trawler Farage said “fishing is the acid test of Brexit”. He told Sky News the government did not have the “guts” to stand up to the EU.
“They told us they would take back control in 2019 – that is not happening. We are now told at the start of 2021 it may happen,” he said.
“I don’t think this government has got the guts or the strength to stand up and take back our territorial waters.”
The boat carrying Farage was chased down the Thames by another boat hired by ITN.
And a police boat tracked the Holladays as it turned around and headed back east towards Tower Bridge.
The letter sent to the prime minister by the MPs, including Rees-Mogg, said joining the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) had been a “calamity” for the UK’s fishing industry.
“The Commission’s draft Withdrawal Agreement envisages that the UK will remain in the CFP during the implementation period but with no say over EU policy or annual quotas,” the letter said.
“The effect of ending discards during this period without compensating measures will be a further disaster for the UK’s already shattered fishing fleet, particularly for the inshore fleet, further eroding prosperity in vulnerable coastal communities.
“These demands are completely unacceptable and would be rejected by the House of Commons.”
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said yesterday Britain would control its fishing waters “totally” when it leaves the EU.
He said the delay was worth it to secure the “big prize” of a transition period that allowed the UK to “prepare for all the benefits that Brexit will bring”.