Mogg Wins Mock Election

The mischievous Campaign for Conservative Democracy launched in Manchester this morning with a more than slightly cheeky mock election for party chairman. The results are in, obviously the Mogg is the winner:

  1. Jacob Rees-Mogg: 28.6%
  2. Lord Ashcroft: 20%
  3. Ruth Davidson: 11.4%
  4. Boris Johnson: 10%
  5. Anna Soubry: 1.4%

A perhaps more realistic long-term ambition for Jacob after he once again ruled out the leadership at the ConHome fringe last night. Also worth noting that Patrick McLoughlin opened conference with a robust, well-received speech yesterday speaking to members’ concerns about the election. There is no vacancy…

Mogg and O-Patz Grumbling, IDS and Redwood on Board

The likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Owen Paterson are grumbling about May’s speech – the Mogg articulated their concerns on Newsnight about free movement and ECJ oversight continuing during the transition. Other hard-to-please Brexiter backbenchers are satisfied though, IDS says he can live with the transition so long as it is time-limited and John Redwood has given his backing:

As Guido has said since June, most Tory Brexiters are fine with a transition so long as it is time-limited to two years and the end destination is fully out of all the institutions of the EU. The question that matters is what our future relationship with the EU will look like, at some point May has to give an answer that satisfies Leave voters and Cabinet ministers…

Mogg: Osborne is a Poor Man’s Ted Heath

Osborne’s vitriol has not resonated with even strongly pro-Remain Tory MPs to whom Guido has spoken. This from Jacob Rees-Mogg on LBC sums up feeling among much of the parliamentary party:

“The sadness of George Osborne is that he is a formidably able man. He served with distinction as Chancellor of the Exchequer and he has decided since leaving parliament to emulate a rather less successful Edward Heath. And I think this type of bitterness and bile ends up making the person who has that bitterness and bile feel resentful and sad and has no effect on broader politics. His firepower diminishes with every bitter outburst and for so able a man that is something we should be sad about rather than particularly condemn.”

Yesterday the Standard’s first edition splashed on two different stories, both attacking Theresa May. He’s trying too hard…

Mogg on Gay Marriage and Abortion

Piers Morgan: “So you oppose same-sex marriage?”

Jacob Rees-Mogg: “I… I…”

Piers: “Why are you afraid to say you oppose it?”

Rees-Mogg: “The teaching of the Catholic church is completely clear.”

Susanna Reid: “You voted against it?”

Rees-Mogg: “I did. The marriage issue is the important thing…”

Susanna: “Are you completely opposed to abortion in all circumstances?”

Rees-Mogg: “Yes I am.”

Piers: “Rape and incest?”

Rees-Mogg: “I’m afraid so.”

Piers: “Really?”

Rees-Mogg: “Life is sacrosanct and begins at the point of conception.”

Nothing that should come as a surprise to any Tory familiar with Jacob. As Guido has been saying, Moggmentum is not a serious thing, Rees-Mogg himself says he is not going to be leader. The leadership talk only serves to give lefty journalists ammunition to make the Tories look silly…

Mogg: I’m Not Going to Be Leader

Jacob Rees-Mogg has told Guido that him becoming Tory leader “is simply not something that is going to happen”. Speaking to a crowd of fans gathered in Portcullis House’s Boothroyd Room tonight, we asked the Mogg to rule out ever running for PM:

Guido: “Could you categorically rule out for us that you will ever put yourself forward to become Prime Minister?”

Rees-Mogg: “We know about Jim Hacker’s answer from Yes, Minister, just before he becomes Prime Minister. It was that “I have no ambitions in that direction, but if my friends and colleagues advise me that in some humble capacity I can serve my country…” and of course that meant “yes”.

Let me be absolutely clear: I’m not a candidate, there is not a vacancy, I fully support Theresa May and want her to continue. And I’m a backbench MP. In the whole history of the Prime Ministership, the party in office has never felt so desperate that it has dragged somebody from the obscurity of the backbenches to thrust them into the highest office. So the answer to your question is that it is simply not something that is going to happen.”

Almost a categorical denial…

Almost a hundred Moggmainiacs attended the Conservative Voice ‘In the Hot Seat’ event. In a wide-ranging address which took in taxation, North Korea and Brexit, Rees-Mogg instead joked he wanted to become Pope rather than PM. The Mogg hit out at the “centralised” party, saying: “it is the voluntary party that makes this Conservative Party“.

He panned George Osborne and delighted fans by deftly switching between policy discussion and anecdotes of how he attended shareholder meetings aged only ten, telling the chairman that dividends were down. They love him, but the Mogg says he doesn’t want it…

Mogg Tops ConHome Leadership Survey

Jacob Rees-Mogg is top of ConservativeHome’s leadership survey on 23%, well ahead of the the next contender David Davis on 15%. Like Guido and the Mogg himself, ConHome reckon Jacob isn’t a serious contender and this is a protest vote in the absence of a decent candidate. Editor Paul Goodman says “In our view, Jacob Rees-Mogg is the beneficiary of party member disillusion with the present senior options for replacing her”. Quite.

In any case it is Tory MPs who select two candidates for the membership to choose from, Rees-Mogg will not be one of them. Note that “other” is in second place. Would be interesting to see a survey with the full raft of younger potential runners and riders…

Mogg “Astonished” By Silly Season Leadership Stories

The Mogg agrees with Guido that Moggmentum isn’t real

Mogg Lines Up Next Job

Guido can reveal Jacob Rees-Mogg has indeed lined up his next job – not a ministerial position but a place on the Brexit select committee. The Mogg, who pre-election served on the Treasury committee, has put his name forward for the Exiting the European Union committee (elections are tomorrow). Notable that the Brexit committee is seen as a promotion from a previously highly desirable Treasury spot. Craig Mackinlay is seeking reelection to the Brexit committee despite his legal issues. Anna Soubry is also going for it…

Moggmentum Isn’t Real

The Guardian continued its alt-reality Brexit coverage yesterday with a report claiming “Brexit campaigners” are using the “ECJ backlash” to “rally support for Rees-Mogg”. This backlash exists only in the fantasies of its author. So far most Brexiters are broadly on board with the government’s proposals on the ECJ. Rees-Mogg has given his tacit support. So the story makes no sense.

It was fashionable during silly season for bored journalists to write “Moggmentum” stories about Rees-Mogg becoming Tory leader. He is now second favourite with the bookies to replace Theresa May. If you think it’s going to happen bet here and Guido will happily take your money.

Rees-Mogg becoming leader would be more of an upset than Corbyn winning the Labour leadership. It is almost impossible under the Tory leadership election system – MPs select two candidates for the membership to choose from, Rees-Mogg will not be one of them. Jacob is a likeable man and a true Brexit believer, he’d make a good minister or select committee chairman but he is also a social conservative worth nine figures and not a potential Tory leader who could win an election. The “Ready for Mogg” campaign which lefties are taking seriously is a wheeze, he is a popular, amusing character who Tory kids like to share memes about, not someone who is going to galvanise the nation’s youth. Moggmentum isn’t real, it only serves to give lefty journalists ammunition to make the Tories look silly…

Tory Brexiteer Group Welcomes Plan to End ECJ Jurisdiction

As Guido reported on Wednesday morning, the government’s proposals on ending the jurisdiction of the ECJ broadly have the support of Tory Brexiteers. Jacob Rees-Mogg, one of Leave MPs who tends to be more sceptical of the government, says: “The clear principle is one I am very happy with… The ECJ goes from being the supreme court of the United Kingdom to being another foreign court and that is a really important change”. The European Research Group of Brexiteer Tory MPs said last night: “The ERG welcomes the Government’s position papers… it is undeniable that the UK will no longer be subject to the jurisdiction of the ECJ, enabling our Supreme Court to be the final court of appeal”.

Suella Fernandes, chairman of the ERG, notes we need a bespoke mechanism rather than to simply join the EFTA court:

“The EFTA Court option probably would not suit the Prime Minister’s requirement of ending the jurisdiction of the ECJ as it follows ECJ precedent. Whatever model emerges will be unique, reflecting our new and wide-ranging relationship with the EU, commanding the confidence of both sides, outside ECJ supremacy”

We wrote on Wednesday that the government was not looking to join the EFTA court but rather copy aspects of it. This means a bespoke system. It remains to be seen exactly what the new mechanism will look like and whether it will meet Leavers’ wishes on sovereignty. To do that it needs to make sure we are not staying in the ECJ by the back door. As they are pointing out over on BrexitCentral, a merely technical exit isn’t good enough. One to watch, though Tory Brexiteers are encouraged by what they have seen…

EFTA Court Model Wins Backing of Key Brexiteers

We will find out more later, though it looks like the government is proposing to copy large aspects of the EFTA court to resolve future trade disputes with the EU. As has been evident for a while. This meets the key Brexiteer requirement of ending the jurisdiction of the ECJ. There is going to be international arbitration post-Brexit, on the face of it this seems a pragmatic, voluntary way of doing it. At this stage a lot of key Brexiteers are on board…

Bill Cash: “The great advantage of the EFTA model is that it is completely independent of the EU yet follows the decisions of the ECJ for the most part, but not always.”

Mark Wallace, ConservativeHome: “There is a world of difference between international and supranational organisations; the EFTA court rules on the implementation of a static and mutually agreed set of rules, while the ECJ is an activist body, pursuing greater integration over the heads of national authorities.”

The Sun: “One answer could be to join the court of the European Free Trade Association — as used by Norway. EFTA president Carl Baudenbacher says it would allow Britain to trade freely while ditching the hated ECJ. It’s not often that Europe offers us a decent deal. We should take him up on it.”

Dominic Raab: “As a voluntary matter of practice, totally within our control, of course the UK will keep half an eye on what the EU does.”

Dan Hannan: “The objection to the ECJ is that it overrides national laws and rules with direct applicability. No objection to an arbitration mechanism. Immense difference between a court having direct jurisdiction in the U.K. and paying regard to overseas judgments (which we always do).”

Hugh Bennett, BrexitCentral: “The EFTA model is interesting because it certainly is different in the way it operates from the ECJ. There isn’t this principle of direct effect on UK law which is obviously a big issue with the ECJ. It’s not politically motivated in the same way the ECJ is.”

Bill Cash might be a fan but some Tory MPs are against the EFTA model. As always the Mogg is being difficult for the government:

Jacob Rees-Mogg: “One of the rulings of the EFTA court is that it wishes to be as close as possible to the European Court of Justice because it believes that there should be homogeneity. It doesn’t diverge from the European Court of Justice in normal circumstances.”

Naturally Remain newspapers and Kippers are calling the EFTA court model a climbdown but most Tory Brexiteers always knew there would be some form of international arbitration system. Let’s see what the government proposes today, but expect other prominent Brexiteers to come out in favour…

Rees-Mogg vs Chapman

James Chapman, the former pol-ed, turned SpAd turned lobbyist putting the potti into Bell Pottinger, claims that the Tories will never win an election again and that Cabinet ministers sympathise with setting up a new centre party, “the Democrats”Chappers sounding crackers

Jacob Rees-Mogg Invites Moggmentum Tattoo Man for Tea at Commons

Jacob Rees-Mogg today pledged to meet the young man who had “Moggmentum” tattooed on his chest and take him for tea at the House of Commons. Giving his blessing to 24-year-old tattooee Ross Atkinson, the North East Somerset MP said he was “enormously honoured and flattered… it’s a huge compliment, very flattering”. The Mogg has spoken to Ross on the radio twice today; first as the lead item on BBC Radio Sheffield’s breakfast programme and later on TalkRadio with Paul Ross. Rees-Mogg said:

“I just hope he doesn’t become a socialist when he gets older and might have to change it… It’s a great honour a young man should be so interested in politics, so keen about Conservative principles that he wants to wear it on himself.”

Ross spoke to Guido on Monday just moments after he had the tattoo. As the ink dried, he said:

“I understand that a lot of working class people actually share beliefs with Jacob and I reckon he could be the one to push into Labour heartlands.”

Today Ross revealed to Guido that he has fixed a date to meet his hero in Westminster in October. Moggmentum forever

Moggmentum Tattoo Man: “I Love Jacob”

A Doncaster man has had a “Moggmentum” logo tatooed on his chest in tribute to his favourite parliamentarian. Ross Atkinson, 24, from Doncaster, tells Guido:

“I got it at Limited Edition Tattoo in Doncaster. It cost £50 – I paid for it with a bonus from my previous job.
[…] Read the rest


Mogg Joins Social Media Age

Social media savvy readers will have noticed that Jacob Rees-Mogg joined the picture-based social network Instagram a few weeks ago. He already has 35,000 followers, more than double Theresa May’s following – and her account is a year old. Follow for pics of Jacob’s new baby and days out with Nigel:

[…] Read the rest


Rees-Mogg: “In Is In, Out Is Out”

“You are either in the European Union or you leave it. This is not only my view, this is the view of Donald Tusk, one of the Presidents of the European Union, who said: “there is no such thing as hard and soft Brexit, there is being in the European Union or out.” If we are out of the European Union, we cannot have our laws by the European Court of Justice, we cannot have all our regulations set by being in the internal market and we can’t lose all our trading opportunities by being in the customs union.

[…] Read the rest


Who Is On Question Time Tonight?

Only one Brexiteer, again…[…] Read the rest


Mini-Mogg Number 6

Meet Sixtus Dominic Boniface Christopher Rees-Mogg. Congratulations to Jacob and Helena. Not the first ambitious politician to introduce a well-timed new family member to the world…[…] Read the rest


Select Committee Chairmanship Runners and Riders

If it weren’t for the Russians (allegedly) MPs’ inboxes would be constantly pinging with emails from colleagues canvassing for support for select committee chairmanships. The hotly-contested elections take place in July, as ever Guido gives you your runners and riders…

The big bunfight is the Treasury select committee, where MPs are jostling to fill the not inconsiderable shoes of Andrew Tyrie.[…] Read the rest


Hammond Faces Tory Tax Revolt

Philip Hammond faces a Tory revolt over his broken National Insurance promise. The government has a working majority of 17 and Guido counts 19 Tory MPs who have already publicly opposed the policy. Many more are privately furious that they have been made to look like promise breakers by the Chancellor.[…] Read the rest


Seen Elsewhere

Tip offs: 020 7193 4041

Quote of the Day

Councillor John Thomas, Keith Vaz’s Leicester East Constituency Labour Party Chairman says…

“This is great disappointment to me, realising that I have spent over 30 years of my life working for a party that I now know that I have nothing in common with. This is not the party I joined, the party for decent working people. I can no longer follow the clown that leads the Labour Party, he is heavily influenced by the Trotskyite Len McCluskey and is now as the Hoki Coki leader, in out, and shake it all about he has turned this great party into a laughing stock.”


Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.