Overseas Electors Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:00 pm on 22nd March 2019.

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Photo of Mark Francois Mark Francois Conservative, Rayleigh and Wickford 2:00 pm, 22nd March 2019

My sincere apologies to my hon. Friend Philip Davies, but when he hears this I hope he will understand, because it affects him, too.

Apparently, on the “Today” programme this morning, the BBC presenter, Jim Naughtie, made the following statement:

“The ERG, Jacob Rees-Mogg’s group, in France would be in the National Front because that’s what they believe, and in Germany they would be in the AfD. It’s only because of our system that the carapace of this party keeps them in”.

That is an outrageous comment and a slur on at least 80 Members of this House. We feel passionately about Brexit, as do Members from all corners of this House, but that does not mean that we belong in the National Front, a despicable organisation that all of us would condemn. I would like to take this opportunity in Parliament, as an elected Member of Parliament, which Mr Naughtie is not—he is just a very, very highly paid bigot—to say that his comments are outrageous. If the BBC does not get him to make a full and complete apology by the end of today, he should resign as a British Broadcasting Corporation presenter. If the corporation does not take action against him, that will prove what many in this House have suspected for a long time—that it is irredeemably biased and Europhiliac.