Pub-goers should “go back to drinking a yard of ale” to celebrate the reopening of pubs while adhering to revised social distancing guidance, Jacob Rees-Mogg said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday that businesses, including pubs, could reopen on July 4 subject to the latest social distancing requirements being observed.
The 2m social distance rule will be reduced to “1m+” which works out at just over a yard.
Tory MP Brendan Clarke-Smith asked what could be done to support the reopening of pubs.
During business questions, Mr Rees-Mogg replied: “I think there’s a very easy answer in pubs and that is people should go back to drinking a yard of ale.
“Because if they drink a yard of ale they will maintain social distancing while enjoying an extra large drink to celebrate the fact that they are back in the pub.”
A Labour backbencher could be heard scoffing at the suggestion which they muttered encouraged excess drinking.
Labour MP Clive Efford asked why pubs were being allowed to reopen from July 4, but not gyms or outdoor swimming pools.
Mr Rees-Mogg replied: “I think everybody welcomes the reopening of pubs.
“I think people have been locked in for quite long enough and they want to go and have a drink and that’s a jolly good thing and should be encouraged and welcomed and they will do it safely and properly.
“And I’m slightly disappointed by the honourable gentleman’s slightly curmudgeonly attitude towards pubs being reopened.