Supporters of former Tory leadership favourite Jacob Rees-Mogg have interviewed public relations firms with the hope of boosting a possible bid to lead the party as well as raising a “war chest” of £750,000.
The MP for North East Somerset has emerged as one of Parliament’s de facto Brexit leaders, and he has topped the polls among the Tory membership as the favourite to take over from Theresa May as the Tory leader for five months.
However, in the latest poll for the Conservative Home website, published this Tuesday, he garnered just 14 per cent of support, falling behind Home Secretary Sajid Javid on 22 percent and Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, on 17 percent.
Now, according to The Times, his allies are said to have interviewed public relation firms earlier this year to see how his support within the party can be translated into votes with the public.
The interview process was initially presented as an attempt to kickstart efforts to push the online “Moggmomentum” phenomenon and match Labour’s grassroots activist groups.
However, insiders insist the true purpose was to begin building the structures needed to launch a leadership campaign in the event of a fresh contest for the top job in the Tory Party.
The revelation comes after reports in the Daily Express this week claimed supporters of Mr Rees-Mogg have raised a “war chest” of £750,000 to fund a possible leadership bid.
Ready for Rees-Mogg: Brexiteers Back Traditional Tory for PM https://t.co/IzqZScBUMW
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 22, 2017
It has been more than a year since Breitbart London was the first major publication to tip him as a possible leader, and since then he has been elected the leader of Parliament’s powerful European Research Group of anti-Brussels MPs.
In April, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage backed him as a future Prime Minister, thanks to his support for Brexit and staunchly conservative views.
Mr. Rees-Mogg is proudly a monarchist, opposed to same-sex marriage and abortion, and welcomed the presidential candidacy of Donald J. Trump.
In public, he has been careful to appear loyal to the Prime Minister but began to attack her for “backsliding” on Brexit towards the end of May this year.
This week, he was even more explicit, appearing to threaten a backbench rebellion if Mrs May failed to fulfil her promises to leave both the EU’s Customs Union and Single Market and deliver on a clean Brexit.
— Leave Means Leave (@LeaveMnsLeave) June 20, 2018