Jacob Rees-Mogg interrupted by protestors during talk at UWE

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**Jacob Rees-Mogg’s talk on Conservatism at the University of West England (UWE) tonight was disrupted within one minute by the entrance of balaclava-clad protestors from the rear of the hall. **

The protestors chanted “Nazi scum” as well as accusing Rees-Mogg of being a sexist, a misogynist and working for a fascist government.

Rees-Mogg approached the protestors and attempted to ask them what they wished to discuss, before protestors and members of the audience at UWE began to shove and yell at one another. This culminated in a woman being shoved by a counter-protestor and Rees-Mogg returning to the front of the lecture hall in a bid to calm the shouting.

Jacob Rees-Mogg then spoke for several minutes until University of West England staff entered the hall and removed the protestors amid cheers from the audience.

Paul Townsley, a member of the audience, claimed that he approached the protestors, at which point a woman stood between him and them, spitting at him. At this point, Townsley claims that he pushed the woman in the back, resulting in an outcry that he punched her, which Townsley denies.

Max Rubens, 19 and a student at UWE was also involved and stated that he was assailed, being called a “Nazi” despite being Jewish.

The Vice President of the UWE Conservative Society, William Bates, asked Epigram to explain that the protestors were member of the “far left” were not members of the University of West England. A statement by the society will be issued later.

In the incident, Bates attempted to record footage, resulting in his phone being knocked to the floor, resulting in the screen cracking. Local police attended, but were unavailable for comment, citing Epigram in their usual manner to the Press Office.

An investigation has been launched ‘following a report of a public order incident’. No arrests have been made.

The rest of the talk carried on uninterrupted, with Rees-Mogg speaking on his conception and belief in Conservatism, before taking questions for around an hour.

Jacob Rees-Mogg avoided controversial topics, talking largely about his belief that the state is the servant of the citizen, that “Conservative ideas appeal to everyone” and focusing on the economic opportunities of ending Britain’s membership of the European Union.

In answering questions, Rees-Mogg remained equally uncontroversial, focussing on housing, the youth vote and universal credit.

In particular, Jacob Rees-Mogg sought to appeal to the students by saying that the youth vote was not a separate block, but part of the wider electorate, and by moderating his stance on fox hunting by presenting hunting as the “least cruel”.

Jacob Rees-Mogg was very well-received by his audience at UWE and spent much time afterwards engaging with members of the audience.


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AUTHOR

Will Charley

Comment Editor 2018/19 | Deputy Online News Editor 2018 | Second year history student | Shortlisted nationally by the SPA for Best News Story

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