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The Conservative establishment has tried its very best to impede his progress.  Before the 2010 general election he was blocked from the “A list” of preferred candidates. When North East Somerset, designated as a target seat and a constituency with which Rees-Mogg had long connections, came up, the local party insisted on interviewing him, despite the best efforts of party HQ. One of the shadow cabinet architects of modernisation, Francis (now Lord) Maude, reassured himself that the local association would never select such a fogey — they did — and then that he would never be elected — he was.

Current and former Conservative MPs I have spoken to all agree that Rees-Mogg is among the very brightest and most talented of their number, yet he has had no preferment. This may be partly his own wish. He is one of the few MPs with a successful outside career, having co-founded and still being a co-owner of Somerset Capital Management, an emerging markets fund with $8.5 billion under management, from which he draws a declared monthly remuneration of around £14,000, plus undisclosed — as is his right — additional dividend income. This might be a rather more appealing prospect than, say, being Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, and all that that entails — not being allowed to speak publicly on matters outside one’s brief and having to slavishly follow the government whip.

But the main reason is the misguided belief among the Tory high command that Rees-Mogg puts voters off and will sully their compassionate credentials. The recent election has shown that for many voters the Tories remain the nasty party. What they want from the Conservatives is straight talking and competence. Rees-Mogg has these in abundance.

His colleagues also say that he is one of the nicest and most decent people in parliament. This is certainly my experience. My own interactions with him have been outside politics — our children go to the same school — and the contrast between Rees-Mogg’s palpable decency and the all-too-obvious meretriciousness and glibness of many politicians is striking.

As a former senior minister put it to me, “No one is offering leadership at the moment in the Conservative Party. It is certainly not coming from Theresa May or others at the very top. What Jacob is doing is offering a clear message and — however much I may disagree with parts of it — people want someone who knows where they want us to go.”

It remains unlikely that Rees-Mogg will become Prime Minister, but many of his colleagues do want him to be brought into the Cabinet. They think that perhaps the greatest risk to him having the role that he so obviously deserves is that of being overexposed in the media, which might provoke a backlash. He is well aware of this and is turning down many more requests than he is accepting.

Nanny Veronica and the Rees-Mogg brood do not yet need to prepare for a move to Downing Street; but stranger things have happened. After all, Labour’s election of Jeremy Corbyn — another MP who had only ever been a backbencher — would have seemed if anything rather more unlikely in May 2015, and yet only four months later he was Leader of the Opposition. 
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HH mum
November 21st, 2017
4:11 PM
Rust coloured corduroy breeches and yellow cable knit jumpers. You can't help but fall over them on the way to the Saatchi Gallery

November 21st, 2017
1:11 PM
'Ferociously attacked' by Parris: as Denis Healey once said, that must be like being savaged by a dead sheep.

Lawrence james
September 23rd, 2017
9:09 AM
Is it more than a coincidence that Moggomania has spanned this year's press silly season ?

September 11th, 2017
12:09 PM
To answer anonymous's question - I think they all make their children wear rust coloured corduroy breeches.

Secret Admirer
September 9th, 2017
5:09 PM
Don't know if JR-M will make it to PM but I certainly vote for him as sexiest MP. Could serve on my Treasury Benches any day.

September 9th, 2017
5:09 PM
Go for true Moggmentum. I say Nanny Veronica 4 PM. If she can handle 6 Mogg brats she can surely handle the country.

September 9th, 2017
5:09 PM
So where is it that the Rees-Mogg's and the author of this article are sending their children?

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