Jacob Rees-Mogg under attack for sharing video of German far-right leader
Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has come under fire for sharing a speech from a controversial far-right German party known for its anti-immigration and anti-Muslim rhetoric.
The leading Eurosceptic shared a video of the Alternative for Germany leader Alice Weidel hitting out at Brussels’ handling of Brexit.
Posted from his Twitter account, the chairman of the European Research Group said: “The AfD leader asks 'Is it any wonder the British see bad faith behind every manoeuvre from Brussels?'"
The radical party hosts members that have been placed under increased surveillance by German intelligence services as a potential extremist threat since January.
A previous AfD leader was accused of saying refugees who arrive at German borders illegally should be shot.
One former candidate for the group is said to have branded Islam "worse than the plague," while some members marched with neo-Nazis last year.
Labour deputy leader Tom Watson said it "beggars belief that a Tory MP would quote a far right nationalist party".
He told PoliticsHome: “The AfD’s dangerous right wing ideology is stirring hatred and intolerance in Germany.
“No wonder there is a battle for the soul of the Tory party when one of their MPs sees fit to align himself with this kind of politics.”
Labour colleague David Lammy added: “Our country's proudest moment was defeating the far right.
“Now 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.”
Speaking to LBC radio this morning however, Mr Rees-Mogg rejected claims he was endorsing the German nationalists.
He said: “No, I'm not supporting the AfD. This is a speech made in the Bundestag of real importance because it shows a German view of Brexit.
"It is saying to Germans, you're paying more for this and Angela Merkel has tied herself in knots with the French to the disadvantage of the Germans.
"I think it's important people know that this is a strand of German 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 which is worth watching."
His endorsement of the speech from the far-right group comes after the Conservative party was accused for failing to tackle Islamophobia within its ranks.