Last Monday evening I had the pleasure of introducing Jacob Rees-Mogg at a Reignite event in London attended by around a hundred mainly students. The popularity of this event, notably that so many students would leave their revision books in the middle of exam season, has reinforced in my mind that there is only one person to succeed Theresa May as Party Leader and as Prime Minister – and that man is Jacob Rees-Mogg.
It is essential that, once the Brexit process has been completed, the Conservative Party must be led with someone who has a clear, concise view of what a post Brexit Britain should look like, has the support of both MPs and Party members and has the skills necessary to take the fight to the Labour Party.
Since becoming a Member of Parliament in 2010, Jacob’s intellect and skills as an orator have won him legions of grassroots support in the Conservative Party. Search his name on YouTube and you will find over 100,000 videos ranging from him attending Oktoberfest in Germany (covered by Channel 4 News) to travelling to South Shields to speak to the local population to his amusing (and far too few) interactions with Labour MP Jess Phillips. His online reach is untouched by any Conservative (with the exception of Mrs Thatcher) and the range and breadth of his interviews have given him widespread recognition. Indeed, there are few who can claim to have been interviewed both by Ali G and Owen Jones; one a joke interviewer and the other a man with little to no knowledge of the world – I’ll leave it up to you to decide which is which.
A quick viewing of just some of these videos will demonstrate is that never once in all of these interviews and pieces has he ever been stuck for an answer or flustered by a question. This was gloriously immortalised on Question Time when host David Dimbleby quipped that Rees-Mogg had attended Eton, to which he retorted ‘That’s absolutely right, I was at school with your son.’ This is exactly the kind of wit and intelligence that we need in a leader, Mrs Thatcher herself said that a leader of the party must never be stuck for an answer and must be ready for anything.
Unlike many politicians, Jacob is extremely genuine and does not compromise on his beliefs based on what a minority of people wail online. This is something that is so lacking in modern day politics that people are crying out for politicians to be themselves and to stand up for what they believe in.
Momentum utilised this attribute in Jeremy Corbyn to ensure his election as leader of the Labour Party and highlighted his longstanding opposition to the Iraq War.
Another important reason why Mr Rees-Mogg should be the next Leader is that no other politician has the grassroots support that he does. Since 2010 Jacob has managed to inspire and encourage a veritable army of Conservative Grassroots support who routinely follow his videos and attend his events. This was perfectly demonstrated at last year’s Party Conference where every event that he spoke at was hugely oversubscribed and, in some cases, hundreds of people had to be turned away. He even has a movement surrounding him ‘Ready for Rees-Mogg’ which boasts over 40,000 members, is the largest right-of-centre group of its kind in the UK and whose sister group, Reignite, hosted the event mentioned earlier.
Time and time again Jacob has found himself as the voicebox for party members, especially with regards to the Brexit negotiations. This was highlighted very recently with regards to the Customs Union when he stated that extending the transition period beyond 2021 would result in a ‘perpetual Brexit purgatory’ and has vowed that he and the European Research Group will fight any deviation from Brexit.
In short, the next leader of the Conservative Party should be Jacob Rees-Mogg as no other politician comes close to his intellect, grassroots support and media skill and his genuineness and traditional conservatism is the perfect antidote to the poison of socialism pushed by the modern day Labour Party.