Photography by Chris McAndrew via Wikimedia Commons
Another day, another deep-dive. Son of William Rees-Mogg, former editor of The Times, and Gillian Shakespeare Morris (the daughter of a Mayor), Jacob Rees-Mogg got off to a privileged start in life, growing up in a Grade II listed building.
Jacob is now a Tory MP who’s highly controversial even within his own party, with Heidi Allen and Anna Soubry saying they would resign if he became leader. The North East Somerset MP has said on Talk Radio that he won’t be standing for Tory leadership, but in the current political climate, honestly who knows. His odds are at 25/1 – putting him behind the likes of Sajid Javid but ahead of Amber Rudd.
His sister Annunziata also garnered attention yesterday for campaigning for the Brexit party. Similarly to Boris Johnson, Jacob is often made out to be a figure of fun, but it’s actually a lot more sinister than that. We did some investigating into his past and pulled together his best (i.e. worst) bits.
• In an Eton school report, one of his teachers described him as a “particularly dogmatic” Thatcherite. Jacob has admitted his admiration for the milk-snatching former Prime Minister started when he was around nine years old.
• Jacob’s interest and involvement in the stock market started age 10, and he was going to shareholders’ meetings at 12.
• Jacob is no stranger to well… being a literal millionaire. An article in Oxford’s student paper claimed he made his first million by the age of 16.
• Arriving at Oxford, he was profiled in a segment called “Pushy Fresher”, which featured people who seemed likely to become notorious on campus.
• The article describes Jacob as “one of the new breed of ‘serious’ students intent on the maintenance of good old fashioned values”. It further claims that while Jacob was at school he employed other students to clean his shoes and to hold an umbrella over him.
• In March, Jacob refused to say whether or not he had made seven million pounds since the Brexit vote.
• He told Owen Jones in an interview that he’s never cried in his adult life.
• In December 2009, Jacob produced a pamphlet that supposedly showed him talking to a local constituent and calling on the government to “show more honesty”. It later emerged that the “constituent” in the pamphlet was one of Jacob’s own employees.
• In 2012, he used the word “floccinaucinihilipilification” in a parliamentary debate.
• In 2013, Jacob spoke at the annual dinner of Traditional Britain Group – an alt-right organisation calling for British people of colour to be deported. It was confirmed that he knew about the groups’ politics before the dinner. Just months later, the group called on Doreen Lawrence, mother of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence, to return to her “natural homeland”. Last year, Katie Hopkins also spoke.
• In the run up to the 2016 US election, Jacob said he would vote for Donald Trump.
• In November 2017, he met with Steve Bannon, founder of Breitbart News, a self-described “platform for the alt-right”.
• Last summer, Jacob defended Boris Johnson after the former foreign secretary wrote that the burqa was “oppressive and ridiculous” and compared Muslim women to “bank-robbers” and “letterboxes”. Jacob also criticised the Tory party for initiating disciplinary action against Boris.
• Jacob was a leading figure in the campaign to leave the EU.
• He is against abortion in all circumstances, saying: “life begins at the point of conception.”
• In March this year, Jacob came under fire for tweeting a video from AfD, a German far-right party.
• Jacob Voted in favour of the “bedroom tax” 16 times from 2012-2014.
• RM’s wiki page describes him as “one of the parliamentary Conservative Party’s most rebellious members” for consistently voting against the introduction of same-sex marriage. Rebellious indeed, and seemingly without a cause.
• Jacob voted 52 times to reduce the spending on benefits.
• He’s voted to repeal the human rights act twice.
• A staunch leaver, RM has voted against membership of the EU 11 times.
• He voted against raising benefits five times in 2013.
All-in-all, it’s a bit concerning. Although a number of Tory politicians are currently more likely to become PM than Jacob, after reflecting on his record, 25/1 still feels too close for comfort.