A prominent pro-Brexit politician sparked outrage — and a meme — Tuesday when he stretched out across a bench in Parliament, appearing bored as British lawmakers heatedly debated the country’s exit from the European Union.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Conservative leader of the House of Commons known for his aristocratic mannerisms, sprawled himself out in the front row of Parliament on Tuesday night, spurring some lawmakers to shout “Sit up, man!”
Anna Turley, a Labour MP, called Rees-Mogg’s posture “the physical embodiment of arrogance, entitlement, disrespect and contempt for our parliament.”
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas directed her ire directly at Rees-Mogg, calling his body language “contemptuous.”
“The Leader of the House has been spread across around three seats, lying out as if that was something very boring for him to listen to tonight,” she said.
The image of Rees-Mogg kicking back as the future of Britain was at stake caused an uproar in the U.K. and much mockery on social media:
After a heated and dramatic debate, Parliament handed Prime Minister Boris Johnson a sharp defeat, taking back control of the Brexit process. A number of Conservative lawmakers changed sides, clearing the way for a vote Wednesday that would block the U.K. from a “no-deal” Brexit on Oct. 31. Johnson immediately said he would call for a general election.