Like this site? Help us to make it better.


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 has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

Latest Comments