Beano tells Rees-Mogg to stop copying its character

Jacob Rees-Mogg has said he is “flattered” to have been accused of “masquerading” as the Beano character “Walter the Softy”.

The eurosceptic Conservative MP was issued with an apparent “cease and desist” letter by bosses at the children’s comic.

They accused the politician of a “clear infringement” of copyright because he has been “distinctly copying” Walter Brown.

Mike Stirling, the head of Beano Studios, accused Mr Rees-Mogg of copying Walter’s hair parting and style, distinctive glasses, choice of vintage clothes, “snootiness” and “insistence to remind others of his father’s successful career”.

He wrote: “We firmly request that you cease and desist in your ongoing impersonation of the character, which remains the exclusive property of Beano Studios.

“A swift response on this matter would be greatly appreciated to avoid getting Teacher involved.”

He also accused Mr Rees-Mogg of adopting “trademarked imagery and brand essences of the character to the benefit of enhancing your career and popularity”.

Mr Rees-Mogg, whose position as a staunch Brexiteer has seen him become a favourite with Tory Party members, offered a light-hearted response to the Beano’s letter.

The 48-year-old posted on Twitter: “I am flattered to be accused by the Beano’s legal eagles of imitating Walter the Softy whose powerful physical prowess is so much greater than my own.”

The North East Somerset MP’s father was a former editor of The Times newspaper.

Mr Rees-Mogg recently claimed he “wasn’t good enough” to follow his father’s profession after a “hopeless” stint at The Telegraph when he was younger, before he went into banking and then politics.

Walter Brown made his first appearance in The Beano in 1953.

In 2008, former Beano editor Euan Kerr revealed he had concerns about “gay-bashing” of Walter by the comic’s famous protagonist Dennis the Menace.

He said: “The relationship between Dennis and Walter was always one that worried me.

“There were accusations from certain quarters that it was a little like gay-bashing. This obviously wasn’t the way we intended it to be perceived.

More from Jacob Rees-Mogg

“We decided the best way to approach it was to make sure that even though he and Dennis didn’t get along, Walter was completely happy about who he was and a confident, likeable character in his own right.

“We eventually give Walter a girlfriend too, as a measure to combat any further criticism.”

Leave a Reply

...