Jacob Rees-Mogg has been challenged to take off his clothes and hold a naked debate on Brexit with a Cambridge academic who proffers the benefits of the European Union in the nude.
Dr Victoria Bateman, an economics fellow at the university, invited the prominent Tory Brexiteer backbencher to discuss the issue as she appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme with nothing on.
The academic, who had the words “Brexit leaves Britain naked” written across her body as she was interviewed by presenter John Humphrys, invited Leave supporters to strip off and discuss Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
She said: “I invite Jacob Rees-Mogg to do a naked debate with me and we will get to the roots of this issue.
“Britain faces many, many problems right now from housing to the NHS, and the European Union is not the cause of those problems.”
She said she decided to talk about Brexit with nothing on to demonstrate that leaving the EU is the “emperor’s new clothes”.
She told the programme: “I have myself written thousands of words looking at why Brexit is bad for Britain, but I thought it would be useful to reduce all of those words down, condense all of those words down to one powerful message: Brexit is the emperor’s new clothes – that Britain has sold itself a project that cannot possibly deliver on what it promised.”
Asked whether she is simply an “exhibitionist”, Dr Bateman said: “I am completely comfortable with my own body, I view women’s bodies as one of the big battlegrounds that we face today.
“And actually by engaging with society about women’s bodies, one of the things it shows is the way in which people are quick to judge women purely based on their bodies.
“For thousands of years men have controlled what women can do with their bodies, and women’s bodies have been seen as something purely existing for sex and for babies.
“So what is wrong with a modern day woman taking control of her body and using it to give voice to what is the most depressing political subject in Britain right now?”
Co-presenter Nick Robinson noted at the end of the interview: “I want you to know that my computer screen was strategically placed so I have only been listening to what was being said.”