Jacob Rees-Mogg offers 'unequivocal' support to Theresa May amid leadership bid rumours

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Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has insisted he backs Theresa May “unequivocally” amid speculation he is considering his own leadership bid.

The eccentric Old Etonian, known for his expansive vocabulary and well-spoken manner, was reported to have been “sounding out” friends about a challenge to the Prime Minister in September.

But writing in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Rees-Mogg denied that he had designs on her job.

“First of all, I unequivocally support Theresa May, and do not covet her job. Second, if I did I would be a fool for only in Opposition do political parties choose leaders who have never held high ministerial office,” he said.

“Third, I neither am a candidate, nor wish to be one. I want to be the servant of the Conservative Party, not its master.

“Nor is this some clever plan to seek other office; if it were, it would have been scotched some weeks ago when it was suggested to the PM, who giggled in response rather more than my mother considered tactful.”

Who is Jacob Rees-Mogg?

Educated at Eton and then Oxford, he has been MP for North East Somerset since 2010.

He made history when he uttered the longest word ever heard in the House of Commons; floccinaucinihilipilification.

He has more than 40,000 Instagram followers after joining in June.

His children are elaborately named, with his sixth called Sixtus Dominic Boniface Christopher.

Mr Rees-Mogg nevertheless sharply criticised the Conservative campaign in last June’s general election – which saw Mrs May’s Commons majority wiped – saying it was “too managerial and lacked inspiration”.

He also urged Chancellor Philip Hammond to prioritise tax cuts when he delivered the Budget in the autumn.

“In addition to low taxation being right in terms of ownership, it is also better economically,” he wrote.

“The recent cuts in corporation tax, one of George Osborne’s most successful policies, has more than doubled the tax received by the Government.

“This example ought to be applied to income tax and, as a matter of urgency, to stamp duty.”

Mr Rees-Mogg recently emerged as the second most popular choice to succeed Theresa May in a poll of Conservative Party members by the ConservativeHome website.

The findings reflect a belief among some Tories that the “young fogey” MP could be a right-wing antidote to the popularity of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Having joined Instagram before the June election, he already has more than 40,000 followers and regularly posts photos of himself with his elaborately named family.

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