The opening words echoed through the speakers in the House of Commons as the head of the chamber held his phone near the microphone in the shipping box.
“When Britain First, Behind Heaven,” was played shortly before Mr. Rees-Mogg put the song off and sat down with a smile.
President Sir Lindsay Hoyle then intervened to joke that he had broken the values of the House of Commons, and teased: “How dare he”.
The song and Land Of Hope and Glory have been in the headlines for several weeks after a newspaper reported that the BBC was considering removing them from the last night of the promos due to sensitivities about Britain’s colonial past.
The broadcaster initially said that only orchestral versions would be performed at its annual classical musical concert held at the Royal Albert Hall, but then gave in to the pressure and swore they would be sung.
Mr. Rees-Mogg later apologized for “any offense I may have committed” about the coup.
But he added, launching into a riff on the original lyrics: “When Britain, at the behest of heaven, came out of the main azure, it was the hymn of the earth and the guardian angels came out. sang this strain.
“Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves, and the British will never, ever, ever be slaves.
“And let’s hope the BBC recognizes Britannia’s virtues in this land of hope and glory. “
Mr Rees-Mogg was responding to Conservative MP Joy Morrissey who claimed that the BBC had used a “smokescreen of apologies” for its initial decision to “hide yet another virtue signaling capitulation to political correctness”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday the country was going through “an orgy of national embarrassment” over its traditions and history.
And spokesman for Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said the BBC’s U-turn was the ‘right decision’, but warned: ‘Enjoying patriotic songs should not and should not be an obstacle to success. review our past and learn from it. “