Rees-Mogg plays Rule, Britannia! in the Commons to celebrate BBC Proms U-turn

Jacob Rees-Mogg played a snippet of Rule, Britannia! in the House of Commons to celebrate the BBC reversing its decision about the Last Night Of The Proms.

The Commons Leader held his mobile phone close to the microphone near the despatch box and pressed play, ensuring MPs heard the words: "When Britain first, at heaven's command."

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle intervened to joke Mr Rees-Mogg had broken the values of the House, and teased: "How dare he."

Rule, Britannia! and Land Of Hope And Glory will now be sung at the concert, following weeks of debate.

The BBC previously said the pieces would feature without lyrics, following controversy over their perceived historical links with colonialism and slavery, but they will now be performed by a select group of vocalists.

The BBC announced the U-turn one day after Tim Davie took over as director-general.

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Photo by: zz/KGC-107/STAR MAX/IPx 2020 3/9/20 Jacob Rees-Mogg attends the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey. (London, England, UK)
Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg walks through through the Sovereign's entrance for the State Opening of Parliament by Queen Elizabeth II, in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London, Thursday Dec. 19, 2019. (Victoria Jones, Pool via AP)
Britain's Leader of the House of Commons, Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg smiles as he walks through Peers' Lobby ahead of the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II will formally open a new session of Britain's Parliament on Thursday, with a speech giving the first concrete details of what Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to do with his commanding House of Commons majority. (Hannah McKay/Pool Photo via AP)
Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg speaks with guests in the chamber ahead of the State Opening of Parliament by Queen Elizabeth II, in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London, Thursday Dec. 19, 2019. (Aaron Chown, Pool via AP)
A heavy police presence escorts Leader of Britain's House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg from parliament in London, following a Brexit debate Saturday Oct. 19, 2019. Many thousands of protesters gathered in London to demonstrate on both sides of the Brexit argument. (Jacob King/PA via AP)
Britain's Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg laughs whilst talking with someone before the arrival of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in the Norman Porch at the Palace of Westminster and the Houses of Parliament for the State Opening of Parliament ceremony in London, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool)
Jacob Rees-Mogg, Leader of the House of Commons, addresses the media at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, England, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed that Britain will leave the European Union on the scheduled date of Oct. 31, with or without a divorce deal governing future relations with the bloc. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Leader of Britain's government the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg speaking at the annual Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, England, Sunday Sept. 29, 2019. The Conservative Party is committed to Britain's Brexit split from the European Union leaving on the scheduled date of Oct. 31.(Danny Lawson/PA via AP)
Britain's Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg reclines on his seat in the House of Commons, London, Tuesday Sept. 3, 2019. With Britain's prime minister Boris Johnson weakened by a major defeat in Parliament, defiant lawmakers were moving Wednesday to bar him from pursuing a "no-deal" departure from the European Union.(Parliament TV via AP)
British lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg poses for a photograph prior to speaking at a meeting for eurosceptic think tank The Bruges group, in London, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
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Mr Rees-Mogg told the Speaker: "I of course apologise for any offence I may have given the House, but when Britain first, at heaven's command, arose from out the azure main, this was the anthem of the land and guardian angels sang this strain.

"Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves, and Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.

Members of the audience during the Last Night Of The Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, London (Guy Bell/PA)
Members of the audience during the Last Night Of The Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, London (Guy Bell/PA)

"And let us hope the BBC will recognise the virtues of Britannia in this land of hope and glory."

Mr Rees-Mogg was replying to Conservative colleague Joy Morrissey (Beaconsfield), who suggested the BBC had used a "smokescreen set of excuses" for its original decision to "mask yet another virtue-signalling capitulation to political correctness".

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed the country is going through "an orgy of national embarrassment" about its traditions and history.

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