Jacob Rees-Mogg ridiculed for linking England's Cricket World Cup triumph to Brexit

'Is there any moment too joyful for you to inject poison into it?'

Chris Baynes
Monday 15 July 2019 09:16
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England's route to Cricket World Cup glory

Jacob Rees-Mogg has been ridiculed for politicising England’s victory in the Cricket World Cup by saying it showed “we clearly don’t need Europe to win”.

The Conservative MP’s attempt to link sporting triumph to Brexit attracted widespread derision, with many cricketing fans pointing out the England team’s international make-up.

The arch-Brexiteer backbencher, who was at Lord's watching the match, celebrated the team’s dramatic win over New Zealand on Sunday by writing on Twitter: “We clearly don't need Europe to win.”

Among those who replied to the post was Irish senator and Fine Gael’s spokesman on EU affairs, Neale Richmond, who pointed out: “Your captain is Irish…”

England’s Dublin-born captain, Eoin Morgan, is one of five members of the victorious 15-man squad who were born outside the UK.

Jofra Archer, who bowled in the final’s decisive super over, migrated to England from Barbados in 2015, while star batsman Ben Stokes is originally from New Zealand. Tom Curran and Jason Roy were both born in South Africa.

Ex-England footballers Gary Neville and Peter Reid, former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell, and Conservative MP Ed Vaizey were among the many who took the Brexiter to task over his tweet.

"Slightly misjudging the mood there," Mr Vaizey wrote. "But while you’re on, the English captain is Irish."

“Perhaps instead of making a silly Brextremist point offer congratulations to the Irish captain, the NZ-born Man of the Match and the Barbadian bowler who got it over the line,” Mr Campbell told Mr Rees-Mogg.

Anti-Brexit lawyer Jo Maugham asked the Tory MP: “Is there any moment too joyful for you to inject poison into it?”

Others were even more blunt about Mr Rees-Mogg’s attempt to link cricket to Brexit.

Dmitry Grozoubinski, a former WTO trade negotiator, tweeted: “Small point: Even were the entire English Cricket Team direct and still pure-blooded descendants of Ancient Albion Druids, winning a game would still be a dumb as f*** argument for leaving a European Union into which the UK is deeply and profitably integrated.”

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