Rees-Mogg denies supporting 'overtly racist' German party

Jacob Rees-Mogg AfD

Mr Rees-Mogg said his tweet was not intended as an endorsement of the AfD.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Jacob Rees-Mogg has denied supporting an anti-Islam German party after tweeting a speech by its leader.

The Conservative MP faced criticism for sharing a speech in which Alternative for Germany’s (AfD) Alice Weidel criticised Brussels’s handling of Brexit.

Mr Rees-Mogg said his tweet did not qualify as an “endorsement” of the AfD but said the speech was of “real importance”.

The Eurosceptic MP said: "I'm not supporting the AfD, but this is a speech made in the Bundestag of real importance because it shows a German view of Brexit.

"And I think it's important people know that this is a strand of German political thinking.

"I don't think retweeting is an endorsement of things that other people stand for - it's just pointing out that there's something interesting that is worth watching."

 

Mr Rees-Mogg tweeted a video by AfD leader Alice Weidel on Sunday. 

 

Labour MP David Lammy acused Mr Rees-Mogg of “promoting Germay’s overtly racist party” following the tweet.

He added: “We are supposed to sit back while xenophobes, nativists, nationalists & isolationists do their best to tear Europe apart again. We must not let them win."

Founded in 2013 as a Euroscpetic party, AfD has caused outrage for its increasingly tough stance on race and religion.

The party faced heavy criticism last year for posters calling for “Islam-free schools”, picturing a group of light-skinned children.

Jewish leaders have also condemned party founder Björn Höcke after he called for a “180 degree change in [Germany’s] commemoration policy” to the Holocaust in 2017.

 

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