Latin enthusiast calls Scottish linesman ‘lightweight’

Elaine McCallig
Thursday 13 January 2022 17:14
Politics

A Latin enthusiast has called a Scottish linesman a “lightweight”.

We are of course talking about Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg and Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross.

During last night’s episode of Newsnight, Rees-Mogg told presenter Kirsty Wark that Ross is a “lightweight figure” after the Scottish politician called for the prime minister’s resignation amid the latest party scandal.

Before he could finish his sentence, Wark responded: “Ooft.”

Perhaps the term “lightweight” isn’t the most appropriate term to describe Ross. Aside from being an MSP, an MP, and the leader of the Tories north of the border - he’s also a keen sportsman.

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Ross is a qualified football referee and officiated several Scottish Cup Finals. However, his enjoyment of the sport, and the dosh that comes with it, hasn’t necessarily been free from controversy… 

Not necessarily known for his engagement with football (aside from that bizarre time he quoted a football rap in the House of Commons) Rees-Mogg instead devotes himself to more “high-brow” hobbies, such as reciting Latin.

Despite being a big enough fanboy of the language to reportedly cross coronavirus tiers to attend a Latin mass and proclaim that “good classical knowledge is a very high level of intellect", the Eton graduate failed a Latin pop quiz on LBC.

An own goal if every we’ve seen one.

The “lightweight” remark came after Wark confronted Rees-Mogg with the suggestion that all 31 Scottish Tory MSPs think that Johnson should quit.

He responded (in English, thankfully): “Well I would actually say that the secretary of state for Scotland, who is a big figure, is very supportive of the prime minister, he’s made that absolutely clear.

“Douglas Ross has always been quite a lightweight figure so I don’t think that his…”

Wark cut him off and said: “Hang on. The leader of the Scottish Conservatives, an MP, and an MSP is a lightweight figure?”

He said: “I think the Scottish secretary is a much more substantial and important figure in this.”

She again interjected to highlight that 31 MSPs agree with Ross, but Rees-Mogg tried to dismiss the suggestion despite Wark assuring him that the BBC was told by a “very senior Scottish MSP”.

“I think that these sorts of anonymous briefings are not necessarily entirely reliable,” he said.

Surprisingly, he didn’t follow up the comment - which seemed like he was telling an award-winning veteran journalist how to do her job - by sticking his fingers in his ears and going: “La, la, la, I can’t hear you”.

Or whatever the Latin equivalent is.

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