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Andrew Adonis slaps down Jacob Rees-Mogg with penny-farthing joke

Former transport minister comes out with a cracker at Cambridge Union Brexit debate

Former transport minister Andrew Adonis drew laughs at the Cambridge Union at the University of Cambridge last night with a bicycle-related joke at the expense of Tory backbench MP and Hardest of Hard Brexits cheerleader-in-chief, Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The MP for North East Somerset, whose whose demeanour, dress and opinions may lead some to wonder if HG Wells’ 1895 novella The Time Machine was rather more than a work of fiction, was pitted against the Labour peer in a debate titled “This house believes no deal is better than a bad deal.”

But as respective proposer and opponent of the motion, neither was eligible for a prize of a bicycle to be awarded to the best speaker from the floor on the evening, reports Bloomberg.

That prompted the following barb from Adonis: “We think we should be eligible and Jacob in particular wants to have the penny farthing if he wins.”

As it turned out, Rees-Mogg lost the debate … but if he fancies a spin on one of those new-fangled bicycles, he could always ask the Courtyard Coffee House and Penny Farthing Museum in Cheshire if he could borrow their recently-acquired ‘Hobby Horse’, believed to be Britain’s oldest bike and made 199 years ago.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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