FAR RIGHT COMPANY: Jacob Rees-Mogg dines with people who want Doreen Lawrence to "return to her natural homeland"
SENIOR CONSERVATIVE politician Jacob Rees-Mogg decided to have a formal dinner with a right-wing group that aims to send black Britons “to their natural homelands”.
The Tory today defended the shock choice of his dining companions by claiming he was not fully aware of the politics of the Traditional Britain Group (TBG).
His fellow diners have previously called for the deportation of Doreen Lawrence and other black Britons due to the colour of their skin.
After facing criticism for attending the dinner, Rees-Mogg said: “I can entirely disassociate myself with the Traditional Britain Group as I have never been a member or supporter”.
The controversial dinner happened in May at the East India Club in London, where the Tory MP was the guest of honour.
The Telegraph quotes a report of the event, which said: “In his speech, and subsequent answers to questions from attendees, Mr Rees-Mogg expressed his disappointment with the EU, with his party’s attempts to redefine marriage and with abortion-on-demand, but toed the Party’s line on other matters.”
In a post on Facebook, TBG called Mrs Lawrence’s appointment as a Labour peer to the House of Lords a “monstrous disgrace”.
The group added: “She, along with millions of others, should be requested to return to their natural homelands.”
ANTI IMMIGRATION: Members of the group have called for black people to be sent home
Commenting further about his engagement with TBG, Rees-Mogg said: “This was one of dozens of engagements for a variety of Conservative groups I have carried out this year. About a day before I addressed them I received a message warning me of their right wing connections.
“I made, in the limited time available, some investigation into these and put them to the organiser of the dinner.”
The MP for northeast Somerset added: “He denied that the Traditional Britain Group held such views and told me that it was a smear. My assistant also contacted Central Office who had no knowledge of the group which they could give me.”
In reaction to the news coverage, TBG released a statement on its website clarifying its position.
It said: "We believe that exiting the EU and halting immigration are crucial to the survival of the British nation.
"But we are a traditional conservative organisation concerned about the future of Britain and our nation."
The group added: "We are naturally disappointed that Mr Rees-Mogg has been frightened by these media smears and forced to disassociate himself from perfectly normal conservatives who actually support him.
"In the past 20 years the Conservative Party have lost two thirds of their members by abandoning Toryism. We are not prepared to do that."