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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.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.