Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg is reportedly considering running to replace Theresa May as prime minister, as the nation’s ‘paper of record’ hailed him as “an English Trump but better at Latin”.
The traditionalist, father-of-six, Mr. Rees-Mogg, 48, has been a loyal supporter of Mrs. May and her Brexit agenda. However, he is said to be giving “careful consideration” to his political career, friends claimed.
In an interview with the paper, he sidestepped questions about his ambition, saying: “I think if I threw my hat into the ring, my hat would be thrown back at me pretty quickly.”
Over the past few months, backers of Mr. Rees-Mogg have begun an energetic “Moggmentum” online campaign aimed at persuading him to stand and building his supporter base. Thousands signed a “ready for Rees-Mogg” petition in June.
Right wing Tories, disaffected UKIP supporters, and ardent Brexiteers are attracted to Mr. Rees-Mogg’s socially conservative views and voting record, and his blistering defence of a clean Brexit.
He opposes gay marriage and raising welfare benefits and has consistently argued for the UK to leave the European Union’s Single Market and Customs Union, break free from European courts, and reject a so-called “divorce bill”.
Parallels have been drawn between the “Moggmentum” phenomenon in the UK and President Trump’s populist appeal in the U.S.
Writing for The Sunday Times, historian Tim Newark said the rising star of the Tory party was “like an English version of Donald Trump but with a better grasp of Latin”. Asked if he recognised the parallels, Mr. Rees-Mogg said he understood.
“The governing elite in both the US and the UK,” he said, “had come to the conclusion that the only reason that people wouldn’t do what they said is because they didn’t understand.
“You see this in the shockingly condescending views expressed by some Remoaners who think that the people that voted for Brexit were all stupid. It’s a very odd way of looking at things if you believe in democracy.”
He also said serving the grassroots lies at the heart of his political philosophy: “As a constituency MP I am always seeking to represent the people remote from the centres of power, rather than the interests of lobby groups.”
Asked why he cares so much about Brexit, he said it is “all about democracy. Can the British people have the government that they want?
“The problem with the European Union is we can be outvoted by a qualified majority vote and therefore laws can be passed that the British people have not only not consented to but have opposed.”