The Beano comic has accused MP Jacob Rees-Mogg of “masquerading” as Walter Brown, a foe of Dennis the Menace.
The company issued a cease-and-desist letter to MP claiming “a clear breach” of their copyright. The letter listed traits including his side parting, round glasses and “snootiness” as “distinctly copying” the character.
Written by Mike Stirling, head of Beano Studios Scotland, the letter was addressed to the North East Somerset MP at the House of Commons, claiming that Mr Rees-Mogg had been “infringing the intellectual property rights of one of our cartoon characters”.
He said it was “evident there are numerous instances whereby you have adopted trademarked imagery and brand essences of the character to the benefit of enhancing your career and popularity”.
The letter alse pointed to “the character’s choice of spotty ties and vintage apparel”, “the character’s bullish behaviour with peers and stopping others from having fun”, and “snootiness”.
You can read the full letter below.
— Beano (@BeanoOfficial) April 4, 2018
Mr Rees-Mogg responded to the tweet, writing, “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.” You can see his tweet below.
Later speaking to the BBC, Mr Rees-Mogg said the letter was “very jolly stuff”.
“I’m a fairly weedy fellow, I just can’t compete with the macho behaviour of Walter,” he added. “I did read the Beano as a child but I never thought I’d model myself on Walter the Softy.”
He also insisted that he was “in favour of other people having fun” but added that “snootiness is really rather unpleasant”.