Brexit Party MEP Rees-Mogg: I Was ‘Thrown out’ of EU Parliament for Carrying Camera

British journalist Annunziata Rees-Mogg attends the launch of The Brexit Party's European Parliament election campaign in Coventry, central England on April 12, 2019. - UK nationalist Nigel Farage launched his Brexit Party's campaign for the European Parliament elections -- a vote Britain was never meant to take part in that …
OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

New Brexit Party MEP Annunziata Rees-Mogg has claimed that she was “thrown out” of the European Parliament for carrying a camera.

Ms Rees-Mogg was one of a number of new incoming MEPs from Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party to document their arrival in Brussels at one of the parliament’s two chambers, registering to take their seats long after the United Kingdom should have left the EU on March 29th.

“So, having left Brussels Midi train station to get to the parliament via our chauffeur-driven car in one of the biggest underground car parks I’ve ever seen — full of Mercedes Benz, Volvo, BMW — we’ve been thrown out within a couple of minutes because apparently we can’t even carry a camera. I wonder what they’re trying to hide?” Ms Rees-Mogg remarked.

Fellow Brexit Party MEP member Ann Widdecombe said: “I’ve arrived and I’m just praying I shan’t be here for more than four months and that we really are going to leave at the end of October. And all I can say is never, ever complain about Westminster expenses. Because comparative to what goes on here, our MPs turn up in hair shirts.”

MEPs earn just over €100,000 (around £90,000) a year. They also have a general annual allowance of £46,680, a staff allowance of £257,974 per year, a personal travel allowance of £3,675, and on top of that, MEPs receive £275 for each day that they sign the European Parliament register at either the Strasbourg or Brussels.

Ms Rees-Mogg’s brother, Conservative Party MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, commented on the incident on Thursday, asking: “What is the EU trying to hide? Could it be the gravy train?”

Asked about the claim that his sister had been “thrown out” of the Brussels parliamentary building, Mr Rees-Mogg told Sky News anchor Adam Boulton: “Apparently she wasn’t able to film rows and rows of sleek limousines that the European Union keeps to whisk people around at taxpayers’ expense and there has been some row about that. I think basically she was trying to film the ‘gravy train’… and the European Union didn’t like that, so they stopped her filming.”

Asked if she had been “barred”, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “I don’t think they can. She’s got a mandate from the people of the East Midlands and she and I both believe that when there is a clear mandate it should be implemented.”

The European Union has been criticised by Leave campaigners for wasting British taxpayers’ money and for its excessive number of bureaucratic bodies and presidents, of which there are seven.

There are presidencies for the executive arm of the EU, the European Commission; a president of the European Council which is comprised of the heads of governments of members countries; a rotating ‘nation-president’ for the Council of the European Union, which is currently Romania; a president for the European Parliament; and three presidents for the European Central Bank, the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the European Court of Auditors.

Following May’s European Parliament elections, European leaders are convening for a European Commission summit on Thursday to select its new mandarins, with Merkel party member Manfred Weber vying for the top job of European Commission president and arch-federalist Guy Verhofstadt is hoping to become the Parliament’s president.

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