22:45 GMT26 January 2020
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    During her speech at the German parliament last Monday, Alice Weidel, head of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party in the Bundestag, specifically lambasted Chancellor Angela Merkel’s role in Brexit and signalled her support for the UK in light of its upcoming withdrawal from the EU.

    Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has defended his decision to tweet a video of a speech on Berlin’s role in Brexit by the senior member of the opposition AfD Party, stressing that although he does not support the AfD’s views, the opinions expressed by Alice Weidel are of “real importance”.

    Rees-Mogg claimed that Weidel’s speech “shows a German view of Brexit and it’s saying to the Germans: ‘Look, you’re paying for this, you’re going to pay more for this’, and Angela Merkel has tied herself up in knots with the French to the disadvantage of the Germans”.

    READ MORE: ‘There's Demand for a Right-Wing European Bloc and We'll Achieve It’ – AfD

    “And I think it’s important people know this is a strand of German political 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 that is worth watching”, he said.

    Via his Twitter account, Rees-Mogg also quoted the AfD leader as saying, “is it any wonder the British see bad faith behind every manoeuvre from Brussels?”.

    It was an excerpt from Weidel’s speech, in which she, in particular, lashed out at German Chancellor Angela Merkel, claiming that “due to your negligence and your failure to help out the UK, our historically good relationship is being threatened”.

    READ MORE: German Establishment Scared of AfD Success in European Elections – MP

    Many netizens, including Labour MP David Lammy, berated Rees-Mogg for “promoting Germany’s overtly racist party”.

    Lammy’s Labour colleague Stella Creasy sarcastically asked Rees-Mogg “to forgive us if don’t use them [the AfD’s anti-Muslim remarks] as you do as a metric for decent opinions by which we should be influenced”.

    One Twitter user went even further, claiming that “the AfD is very close to a Nazi party”, and urged Rees-Mogg to “stop spreading their populist, one sided nonsense”.

    The AfD became the third-largest party in Germany, claiming 94 seats in the Bundestag, after the 2017 federal election.

    Over time, the party shifted its focus from an anti-euro campaign to immigration and Islam. In 2018, an AfD poster showing light-skinned teenagers running along with the slogan “Islam-free schools” drew criticism. 


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