Tory backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg defends quoting 'overtly racist' far-right German party

Alex Daniel
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Rees-Mogg said on LBC Radio this morning: 'I’m not supporting the AfD' (Source: Getty)

Conservative backbench MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has defended a tweet in which he quoted the leader of a German far-right party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD).

The outspoken Brexit supporter said he did not support the party’s views but maintained the opinions put forward were of “real importance”.

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Rees-Mogg has come under heavy criticism after posting a video of Alice Weidel speaking in the German parliament, in which she questioned the European Union’s approach to Brexit negotiations.

With it, he tweeted: “The AfD leader asks ‘Is it any wonder the British see bad faith behind every manoeuvre from Brussels?’”

Labour MP David Lammy responded saying Rees-Mogg was “promoting Germany’s overtly racist party, AfD”.

“Our country's proudest moment was defeating the far right. Now we are supposed to sit back while xenophobes, nativists, nationalists & isolationists do their best to tear Europe apart again,” he said.

Lammy’s colleague Stella Creasy said: “We have to deal with the AFD.”">

The far-right group, which holds 91 seats in the German parliament, the Bundestag, promoted the idea of “Islam-free schools” last year in a Bavarian local election poster.

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Rees-Mogg said on LBC Radio this morning: “I’m not supporting the AfD. But this is a speech in the Bundestag of real importance because it shows a German view of Brexit.”

He added: “I don't think re-tweeting is an endorsement of things that other people stand for. It’s just pointing out that there's something interesting that's worth watching.”