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Jacob Rees-Mogg calls billboard dishonest for featuring his quote on a second referendum

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You may recall a few weeks ago a story about a series of billboards that have been posted around the UK featuring quotes about Brexit from MPs.

The posters, which came from the activist group Led By Donkeys, used parts of quotes from British politicians on the topic of Brexit and presented them as tweets.

Partial quotes from the likes of David Cameron and David Davis had been posted in London, with a further £30,000 being raised to erect more billboards around the country featuring quotes from Dominic Raab and Theresa May.

One billboard that has recently been posted on a roundabout in Bristol features a quote from ardent Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg, where he says that there should be two EU referendums. The quote reads:

We could have two referendums. As it happens, it might make more sense to have the second referendum after the renegotiation is completed.

The billboard states that Rees-Mogg said this on October 24, 2011, and that “he didn’t tweet it, he actually said it! In the House of Commons. What changed?”

However, Rees-Mogg has taken exception to the billboard and labelled it as “fundamentally dishonest” as he only joined Twitter in October 2017 and added that his proposal for a second referendum was different to the People’s Vote campaign.

Speaking to Bristol Live, the Tory MP for North East Somerset said:

I joined Twitter in 2017 so the billboard is fundamentally dishonest. It is designed as a tweet and is a highly selective quote. I have never supported a second referendum of the type proposed by the People’s Vote campaign.

In the House of Commons on 24 October 2011, I was discussing the idea of a mandate referendum for David Cameron to begin his negotiations on our terms of membership of the European Union, followed by a decision on what he had achieved.

Both these referendums would have taken place while we were still members of the EU and before any decision to leave. However, the government decided on a simple in/out referendum after the negotiations, so this mandate option was not used.

However, Led By Donkeys have once again taken Rees-Mogg’s words and used them against him. In a tweet, they made reference to his anger over the billboard and pointed out that he would really hate it if anyone retweeted it.

At the time of writing, the tweet has been shared more than 6,000 times in less than 24 hours.

A spokesperson from Led By Donkeys said:

The news cycle is so fast nowadays, we forget what our leaders once said. If they want us to trust their judgment as we enter the choppy waters of Brexit it’s right that we remind ourselves of their record.

The idea – like most half-decent ideas – came in a chat down the pub. We were talking about whether Cameron would one day delete his ‘chaos with Ed Miliband’ tweet, and someone said: ‘Let’s turn it into a Tweet You Can’t Delete.’ It went from there.

The group have been running a poll on their Twitter account asking followers to vote for which quote they want to see turned into a billboard next, with the most recent being from the Vote Leave campaign.

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