Jacob Rees-Mogg tells protester: "Leave my despicability to one side"

Catherine Neilan
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Conservative Party Conference 2017- Day Two
Rees-Mogg left unruffled after protesters called him "despicable" (Source: Getty)

Anti-austerity protesters failed to faze Jacob Rees-Mogg after they burst into a fringe event during today's party conference.

The audience were less calm, calling the protesters "Labour scum", but Rees-Mogg remained unruffled throughout the exchange.

Despite being labelled "despicable" by the protesters, who chanted "Tories out", Rees-Mogg steered the conversation, asking what they specifically had a problem with.

"Abortion rights, women's rights, everything... you're a despicable person," said one of the protesters.

"Well, we may disagree on things, but just because you disagree with somebody, that doesn't make them a bad person," replied a calm Rees-Mogg. "The two are separate."

The protester argued that "people are dying because of the things you're advocating" - which the high profile backbencher robustly refuted, before being labelled despicable once again.

"Let's leave my despicability to one said," said Rees-Mogg - with the air of someone not saying it for the first time. "What's important is to have the conversation. You're welcome to talk to me, but it's difficult if your intention is merely to shout and wave leaflets."

The protester was eventually taken away - to polite applause from the audience.

Rees-Mogg said the demonstration showed the "glorious" exchange of views that can be had in a free country.

He said: "We should be really pleased that people want to come to our meetings and engage with our ideas.

"It's a glorious thing about our nation.

"We are a free country and we are not afraid of people holding other views to our own because we think we can win the battle of ideas.

"We don't need to shout. We don't need to scream.

"We need calm, considered and deliberative discussion and then we can show Conservative ideas and values are best for this nation.

"Let's always be willing to engage with anybody who is willing to come to our meetings."

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