Jacob Rees-Mogg loses seat next to man wearing baked bean balaclava

Senior Conservative Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg listens to the results of the count for his North East Somerset and Hanham seat in the 2024 General Election, at Sports Training Village, University of Bath, in Somerset Picture date: Friday July 5, 2024.
-Credit: (Image: 2024 PA Media, All Rights Reserved)

Senior Conservative politician Jacob Rees-Mogg lost his seat tonight while standing next to a man in a baked beans balaclava. In a devastating election night for the Conservatives, the former North East Somerset MP lost his seat back to Dan Norris, the Labour MP he had unseated 14 years ago.

Mr Rees-Mogg looked solemn in the moment, but the man standing next to him in a brunch-themed balaclava and a wooden tie stole the show, as SomersetLive reports.

This was Phin “Barmy Brunch” Adams, a schoolteacher, radio presenter, and Monster Raving Loony Party candidate for North East Somerset and Hanham. Barmy Brunch stood on a platform of introducing a “statutory brunch hour,” but also to make a statement about mental health.

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Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service during the election campaign, Barmy Brunch said: “I wanted to run against someone who looked to be safe in their seat to create a Portillo moment if possible or at the very least — let’s be realistic here — provide a none of the above alternative for those voters who are either disaffected by politics or whatever.”

He added: “If people don’t ordinarily vote, then vote extraordinary.”

Phin Adams has lived in Bath for 24 years and used to have the show “Phin’s Barmy Brunch” on Somer Valley FM, from which the character takes its name. He now works as a teacher in London and runs his school radio, as well as having his show on Asian Star Radio.

Barmy Brunch, Monster Raving Loony Party candidate for North East Somerset and Hanham
Barmy Brunch, Monster Raving Loony Party candidate for North East Somerset and Hanham -Credit:John Wimperis

His statutory brunch hour would have meant that all workplaces have to stop and serve brunch between 11am and midday. He said he wants to “MAKE BRUNCH GREAT AGAIN” — but added there is a serious point behind it too.

He said: “Yes, it's ambitious, it's bold, it's an hour long. If we can just pause and just breathe, it's one of the things that I think is key to upholding the good mental health that we all really desire.”

He warned that the mental health system was “underfunded” and “broken.” He said: “However the policy manifesto is read, it can be taken as a joke, that’s fine. If it brings a smile to someone’s face that’s fine — but equally, if someone comes and accuses me of not taking politics seriously, I am incredibly serious about positive mental health.”

He added that some friends had told him his Barmy Brunch mask looked “scary” or criminal. But he said: “I would like to see a criminal get involved in any criminal activity wearing a face mask that has beans and egg and has holes cut out for the eyes. I think it's more in the realm of Mr Blobby than one of the drug lords in Colombia.”

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As the votes for the North East Somerset and Hanham constituency were counted at the University of Bath last night, Barmy Brunch told the local democracy reporting service: “If it generated interest, great! And if I don’t lose money along the way that’s even better.”

Barmy Brunch did lose his money. Candidates pay a £500 deposit to stand in a general election and get it back if they get at least five per cent of the vote. In North East Somerset and Hanham. There were 51,267 votes cast in the constituency. He got 211.

So what’s he eating for brunch after being up all night for the election? “Something vegetarian.” That’s right, despite the sausage smile and bacon ears on balaclava, he is a vegetarian.

Meanwhile, Labour’s Dan Norris beat Sir Jacob with 20,739 votes to his 15,420.

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