World In Mogg-tion! Commons Leader tries his hand at John Barnes rap

Jacob Rees-Mogg recited the John Barnes rap from World In Motion as England fever swept through the House of Commons.

The Conservative minister quoted New Order’s Italia 90 anthem before praising the “excellent leadership from Mr Southgate” for guiding England to Sunday’s Euro 2020 final against Italy.

Other MPs hailed the Three Lions boss, Gareth Southgate, and made several attempts to reference Football’s Coming Home – the David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and Lightning Seeds classic which has aided England’s bid for glory.

For Labour, shadow Commons leader Thangam Debbonaire said Prime Minister Boris Johnson should spend some time “studying at the Gareth Southgate school of leadership”.

She said the England manager “inspires his players to be the best they can be and to do it for their country, he backs them in their campaigning for social and racial justice, even under criticism, he instils relentless focus on hard work, he inspires them to be gracious in victory as well as learn from experience, and he’s rightly identified these values as patriotism”.

She said the Government should “honour” the England team by focusing on other British values such as international aid, the NHS, the environment and a Covid public inquiry.

Ms Debbonaire added: “In contrast to the Prime Minister, Gareth Southgate and the England team value hard work, discipline, and preparation.

“The British people seem to appreciate those qualities, so for the sake of our country and the wonderful people who live and work here, I hope the Prime Minister can spend some time over the next few days studying at the Gareth Southgate school of leadership.

“The British people will be asking themselves who they want to lead them – do they want someone who works hard and has a relentless focus on embodying British values, or do they want the current Prime Minister?”

Commons Leader Mr Rees-Mogg, in his familiar drawl, replied: “Everyone, I think, is rejoicing at the football success and I think the line to take is from Mr Barnes.

“You’ve got to hold and give but do it at the right time.

“You can be slow or fast but you must get to the line.

“Can I reassure you, Mr Speaker, that we ain’t no hooligans, this ain’t a football song.

“Three Lions on my chest, I know we can’t go wrong.

“Or as another John put it, John Dryden, for they can conquer who believe they can.”

Fans watch England v Germany
Former England player John Barnes sang a rap on World In Motion (Tess Derry/PA)

He added: “It is indeed the excellent leadership of Mr Southgate which led to such a good triumph yesterday against Denmark, and let’s hope for the same on Sunday.”

Earlier, Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner – when questioning Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove – said: “Indeed football is coming home, but I also think the chickens are coming home to roost for this Government.”

MPs also approved plans to extend pub opening hours by 15 minutes on Sunday evening, to cater for the potential for extra time and penalties in the Euro 2020 final.

Commons Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans joked that most of the millions of pints of beer estimated to have been served during England’s semi-final clash with Denmark had been drunk by him.

The Welshman apologised for his hoarse voice, adding: “But this is what happens when you shout at a television for however long it was, it felt like an eternity, but it was well worth the shout and I shall be doing exactly the same on Sunday.”

Home Office minister Victoria Atkins said: “The British Beer and Pub Association has estimated that 50,000 pints were sold each minute last night, which my very quick reckoning means an extra two-and-a-quarter million points in the 45 minutes that we’re going to be introducing.”

She said: “I’m so sorry Mr Deputy Speaker has just said most of that was him, make sure I get it on Hansard.”

She added: “In conclusion would you enable me to mangle the words of our greatest wordsmith William Shakespeare in Henry V, with the following: ‘The game’s afoot, follow your spirit, and upon this charge cry God for Harry, England, and Saint Gareth… I mean George.”