Left-wing conspiracy theorists have suggested that footage obtained by Breitbart London of far-left activists storming a speech by Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg was, in fact, part of a staged operation organized by Steve Bannon and Breitbart News.
Anti-Tory activists distraught at the aggressive and intolerant portrayal it gave of their student fellow travellers are now claiming. that Breitbart News and Rees-Mogg colluded in the run-up to the event in order to stage an incident that would give him greater media attention as the odds on him being the next Conservative Party leader continue to be slashed.
Byline editor Peter Jukes – who once implied that Nigel Farage and Breitbart London editor Raheem Kassam of went to Moscow (when in fact they were in Rochester, England — argued that former Breitbart News Executive Chairman Steve Bannon was “deeply involved in the Rees-Mogg fracas,” a post liked by the former BBC Economics editor Paul Mason.
Already primed, the Alt Reich scheme to target "University lecturers with an anti Tory, anti Brexit and cultural Marxist agenda". This is what the @yaf Mercer funded group has being doing in the US for years, and suggests Bannon is deeply involved in the Rees Mogg fracas https://t.co/xXiiteQWxV
— Peter Jukes (@peterjukes) February 4, 2018
If anyone's been following the #Antifa phenomenon in the US, a warning here. A large number are fake organisations set up and promoted by the Alt Reich and/or Russian troll farms.
It's a Breitbart/Putin speciality, so given Rees Mogg's closeness to Bannon, expect a UK import https://t.co/3ufDRp62eN
— Peter Jukes (@peterjukes) February 4, 2018
One man accused Breitbart of “lurking in the background.”
This guy is getting dangerous – all these publicity stunts/getting air time playing the stand up British Gent like they were back when Britain ruled the waves. All with Breitbart lurking in the background. Sinister to say the least.
— Andrew Lamont (@stormiodim) February 8, 2018
Another claimed Mogg was “taking Breitbart to his talks.”
So we have Mogg taking Breitbart to his talks, accusing the civil service of deep state type interference and now the Barclay brothers blaming Soros. How can people not see the Trump/ brexit parallels ffs? #bbcdp
— Stormageddon (@lawks1) February 8, 2018
Other people claimed the event was “staged” and that my iPhone equated to a “Breitbart pro camera crew.” Very flattering!
Which is why a Breitbart pro camera crew were there.
— ★Primarch of Mars★ (@primarchofmars) February 5, 2018
That seems to convenient to not be a setup, especially as Breitbart is not UK-based.
— Andrew Smith #FBPE #NHSLove #ABTV #WATON (@AndrewS26169) February 5, 2018
So Bannon met Rees Mogg. Mogg incident happens at Bristol where Breitbart just happened to be filming. Then someone who "defended Rees Mogg" just happened to call Farage's radio programme & Brandon Lewis launches 'respect pledge'. I'm no conspiracy theorist @carolecadwalla
— russjackson (@docrussjackson) February 4, 2018
Nick Pettigrew, a former writer for the satirical news site The Daily Mash, even shared a meme to highlight the obviousness of my collusion.
So a Breitbart reporter just so happened to be filming an obscure Rees-Mogg speech when the disturbance happened. What a massive coincidence pic.twitter.com/IBVsl3Lmp0
— Nick Pettigrew (@Nick_Pettigrew) February 3, 2018
Some figures, including BuzzFeed’s Jim Waterson and Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, came to Breitbart’s defense:
— Zac Goldsmith (@ZacGoldsmith) February 6, 2018
Leftists are delusional. Tons of media people captured the fracas at Rees-Mogg’s speech but Breitbart gets singled out for filming it. pic.twitter.com/BuBqnE9CIq
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) February 3, 2018
Because they sent a reporter to an event that was likely to be of interest to their readers? Not everything’s a conspiracy!
— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) February 3, 2018
Living in the Bristol area, I decided to attend the event out of mere interest in one of the rising conservative stars of an establishment-controlled Conservative Party.
When protesters flung the back doors open at the beginning of the event, I was quite taken aback, especially given that Rees-Mogg is one of the most polite and unoffensive figures in British politics.
Realizing the newsworthiness of the situation, I immediately began filming the incident on my iPhone and sent it to Breitbart London editor Raheem Kassam who posted it on social media while travelling by car from Washington, D.C. to New York City.
The footage consequently went viral, racking up close to two million views across social media platforms and being used by various media outlets. However, its success was a mere fluke, and the result of simply being in the right place and the right time.
British newspapers have since identified the lead protester, who accused Rees-Mogg of being “racist,” “homophobic,” and “sexist,” as Josh Connor, a devoted Labour Party activist affiliated with the party’s far-left campaign group Momentum.
Meet Josh Connor. This thug stormed into a university talk intent on closing down free speech and then screamed abuse aggressively at @Jacob_Rees_Mogg.
His Bristol Antifa group were disguised in black sunglasses, hoodies and bandanas. He’d probably hate you sharing this photo. pic.twitter.com/LAmLno1PKu
— Shy Society #FBPE (@Shy_Society) February 3, 2018
The fact that left-wingers believe that last week’s event was in some way coordinated by Breitbart News, Steve Bannon, Jacob Rees-Mogg, and perhaps the tooth-fairy too is another sign of how disturbed the political left has become since the revolutionary moments of 2016.
Still, it provided us with a laugh.
Follow Ben Kew on Facebook, on Twitter at @ben_kew, or email him at [email protected]