Brexit

Charles Stewart Parnell name-checked by Jacob Rees-Mogg during Brexit debate

Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg in Downing Street yesterday. Picture by Kirsty O'Connor, Press Association

IRISH nationalist MP Charles Stewart Parnell was name-checked by Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg in the Commons during an extraordinary Brexit debate.

Mr Rees-Mogg said yesterday's emergency debate, called as Tory rebels and opposition MPs attempt to pass a law designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit, was an abuse of parliamentary process.

"The approach taken today is the most unconstitutional use of this House since the days of Charles Stewart Parnell when he tried to bung up parliament," he said.

Mr Parnell, a founder of the Irish National Land League and leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, was a strong advocate for Irish home rule.

His party's MPs frequently used time-wasting speeches, known as filibusters, during the 1870s and 1880s in an effort to get home rule onto the parliamentary agenda.

Belfast-born Joseph Biggar was best known for using the tactic which involved giving long speeches to delay the passage of Irish coercion acts and to obstruct the Commons to force the Liberals and Conservatives to negotiate with nationalists.

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