Compare what Mogg actually said:
AM: Let me turn then to the facts, because you describe what happened, the reaction, what happened as ‘fluff’. I buried my father on the week that one of those parties took place and it was a party, And he was an elder of the Church of Scotland. That church was locked and barred and we had a small gathering. Most of the family weren’t there. The other parishioners that he would love to have been there weren’t allowed to be there because we followed the rules. And I felt intensely angry about that. And I do not regard this as ‘fluff’.
JRM: Well. so two things. One is that I think closing the churches was in retrospect a great mistake. I do not think churches should be closed.
AM: We can agree about that. But do you regret the use of that word ‘fluff’?
JRM: The great saint whose body is in Westminster Cathedral, St. John Southworth, ministered to plague victims in the 1650s. And the mission of the church, I think, was made harder by closing the churches. But as regards what is happening now two years on, against what is going on in Ukraine, what is going on with cost of living crisis, one has to get a sense of perspective. What is going on in Ukraine is fundamental to the security of the Western world.
AM: It is, but I’m sorry-
JRM: And you are comparing this-
AM: If I may-
JRM: You are comparing this- no, I’m telling you why I said what I said. You are comparing this to a fine issued for something that happened two years ago, where the police have come to a view and they’ve come to a view that the Prime Minister has accepted, but which he thought at the time was within the rules. So I think we need to look at what is fundamental to the security of our nation and the security of the Western world.
AM: I’m really sorry, but thinking about what happened to my family – and I only use that because it happened to so many others up and down the country, similar kinds of things – and we find, I would say, that word ‘fluff’ quite offensive.
JRM: The Prime Minister set out, in his statement, how sorry he was for what happened and for making a mistake. But I still think that in comparison with the war in Ukraine, with a fundamental threat to the safety of the west from Putin, a fine for something that happened two years ago is not the most pressing political matter.
AM: Do you regret the use of the word ‘fluff’?
No, I don’t. I think it is getting a sense of proportion. The Daily Mail headline said ‘don’t forget there is a war on’ and this I think, is something we need to remember. We need a sense of perspective. That’s not to say that the Prime Minister and everybody, doesn’t have enormous sympathy for people whose family members died from COVID that- All deaths are sadnesses for they afflict, in all circumstances.
AM: So let’s talk about the word ‘contrition’. You’re a man of faith, you understand what contrition means, and you know the Prime Minister very well. Is he saying sorry for the fact that happened and people got cross about them, or is he actually sorry for his own behaviour? Is he contrite about his own behaviour, in your view?
JRM: I think he’s deeply contrite and I think he would not have had the event had he thought it broke the rules. He’s contrite because he made a mistake. And he has admitted that in the House of Commons today, I think his contrition is very genuine.
To how the Mirror is reporting his response:
Absolutely atrocious context stripping…