Vultures close in on Theresa May as Jacob Rees-Mogg takes dig at PM’s leadership
Top Tory posh boy Jacob Rees-Mogg has taken a swipe at Theresa May, adding fuel to the fire that the PM is set to face a leadership battle – with Rees-Mogg seemingly positioning himself for the top job.
Adding to the rumor that May is facing a vote of no confidence, Rees-Mogg said that the UK Prime Minister doesn’t look like she’s having “fun” as leader, and labelled her 2017 election campaign as “gloomy.”
Rees-Mogg was recently named favorite as next Tory leader in a survey of grassroots party members. Some 1,300 people were asked by the Conservative Home website about who should lead the party after May. Rees-Mogg received the highest amount of support at 21 per cent of the vote.
A senior Tory frontbencher told the Independent that Rees-Mogg is more popular than “anybody else in my constituency association, and that’s including Boris.”
“He is not the joke some people think he is. He is very clever and he has strong beliefs,” the minister said. “While I don’t agree with everything he says, he is saying something and saying it well and clearly and the Conservatives need people to do that.”
Despite the support, Rees-Mogg, a father of six, has said it would be “very difficult” for him to take the leadership role.
“I think ‘want’ is very much the wrong word,” he told the Press Association. “If you look at Mrs May, it seems to be quite clear she does it because it's her duty to do it, I don't get the impression that it's a lot of fun for her – it's hard work.
“I've got six children, it would be very, very difficult as a family man, so want is not the right word, I'm very happy as a backbencher and what I do want is Mrs May to stay Prime Minister.”
Even though Rees-Mogg is denying any dreams of leadership, he is rumoured to be apart of a “dream team,” made up of three top Tory MPs — Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, and Rees-Mogg.
The Sunday Times said that the three musketeers are poised to replace May. It reports that eurosceptics contacted Johnson, the foreign secretary, on Friday and urged him to agree a pact that would see Gove, the environment secretary, become his deputy prime minister and Rees-Mogg — the shop steward of the backbench Brexiteers — appointed chancellor if the PM is forced out.
News of the trio’s plans is not music to everyone’s ears - Tory MP Anna Soubry has threatened to quit the Conservative party if Brexiteers like Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson take the wheel.
Soubry has urged May to give the boys the boot. “They are not the Tory party I joined 40 years ago and it is about time Theresa stood up to them and slung 'em out,” she told BBC2's Newsnight.
“We have to get a Conservative Party which is what it has been for decades, the party I joined 40 years ago, proper, One Nation, centrist, small l socially liberal, fiscally sensible, economically sound Conservatives.
“Unless Theresa stands up and sees off these people she is in real danger of losing huge swathes of not just the parliamentary party but the Conservative party.
“And if that means leaving the party, form some new alliance, God knows I don't know. But we just simply cannot go on like this any longer. Something is going to have to give because if it doesn't not only will we get Jacob Rees-Mogg as our prime minister, we will get a devastating hard Brexit which will cause huge damage to our economy for generations to come.
“And I am not prepared to sit by any longer and put up with this nonsense.”
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