Jacob Rees-Mogg shoots down Labour’s attack on masks ‘Only when the cameras are on!’

The Conservative Party came under fire this week after Health Secretary Sajid Javid urged the public to wear masks in enclosed spaces despite MPs being seen not wearing them in the House of Commons. The hypocrisy was picked up by Thangam Debbonaire who urged the Tories and Jacob Rees-Mogg to set an example and wear the coverings in the House as coronavirus cases surge. But Mr Rees-Mogg bit back, arguing they were not required in workplaces before skewering the Labour frontbencher for her party’s own complacency with masks at their party conference.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Ms Debbonaire said: “The Health Secretary yesterday said, unfortunately not to this house but to a press conference, that it’s crucial for people to act responsibly, wear masks in crowded places to avoid future restrictions.

“I give the members opposite, including the right honourable gentleman, the opportunity to see, one can have a very natty matching mask to go with one’s outfit.

“The right honourable gentleman may wish to talk to his tailor about what they can construct.

“I strongly urge him to do so, because we do seriously need to set the highest possible best example to the public if we are to avoid the winter crisis that none of us wants.”

Mr Rees-Mogg quickly took to the despatch box to respond and said: “Masks is a very interesting matter, because… there is amazing modern technology on social media, a picture from the socialist’s conference that took place recently.

“And the most extraordinary thing, there are all these luminaries of the opposition benches, some of the most formidable figures in British political life and their faces are naked and unadorned.

“And what I love about their drinks parties… I don’t think they were able to get the drinks through their masks.

“That may have been the reason why mosques are worn more by socialists when their television cameras around than when they are not going to be seen.

Later in the Commons session, Mr Rees-Mogg echoed those words when he clashed with the SNP’s Pete Wishart.

The Conservatives also came under fire by Speaker Lindsay Hoyle again after he criticised the Government for briefing the press before the House was told about the updated advice and purchases of antivirals.

Mr Rees-Mogg defended the decision and said the Government did not consider the announcement on Wednesday to be important enough to be told to the House first and did not want to waste government time.

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