Jacob Rees-Mogg ‘considers running to be next leader of the Tory party and could make a bid if they lose the next election and Rishi Sunak is forced to step down’
- Jacob Rees-Mogg weighs bid for leadership if Rishi Sunak loses next election
- Former Brexit Opportunities minister also ‘considering a run in summer of 2021’
- He eventually backed Liz Truss, whose premiership imploded after just 44 days.
Jacob Rees-Mogg is reportedly weighing up a bid to run for the Tory party leadership should Rishi Sunak tank the next general election.
The former Business Secretary, 53, is understood to be tempted by the prospect of becoming the standard-bearer of the right-wing of the party should they endure a battering at the polling booths.
Current polling estimates have the Conservatives trailing Labor by up to 20 points, with a general election looming as soon as January 2025.
The-then Brexit Opportunities minister is also said to have considered putting his name among the runners and riders after his close ally and ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson stepped down in the summer.
Jacob Rees-Mogg is reportedly weighing up a bid to run for the Tory party leadership should Rishi Sunak tank the next election
Mr Rees-Mogg is said to have been tempted to run for leader after Mr Johnson was finally forced to admit his support was crumbling and his premiership doomed.
A source close to the former Business Secretary said: ‘Jacob thought about it overnight but decided that his loyalty to Boris meant that he had not put a team in place to be able to win a contest while others had.
‘Also Liz Truss was quick out of the blocks which meant it was difficult for him to run against her.’
In the end, Mr Rees-Mogg joined other Boris loyalists such as Nadine Dorries in backing Ms Truss – whose time as Prime Minister infamously ended after less than two months.
Current polling estimates have the Conservatives trailing Labor by up to 20 points, with a general election looming as soon as January 2025. Pictured: Rishi Sunak outside Downing Street
It is understood that members of the right-wing of the Conservative Party have agreed to ‘step back’ because of the reputational damage caused by Ms Truss’s disastrous 44 days in Downing Street.
However, the current favorite for the leadership from the right of the party is rising star Kemi Badenoch, who gained traction after a strong performance among MPs and grassroots groups in the summer leadership hustings.
Another option would be Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who could see her own popularity soar among the party should she bring an end to the Channel migrant crisis.
Former prime minister Theresa May acknowledged that Liz Truss’s mini-budget had ‘an impact’ on the Conservative Party’s reputation for sound money, but said Rishi Sunak (pictured on December 19) was rebuilding trust
It comes as sources close to the backbencher say Mr Rees-Mogg is not ruling out making a bid for the leadership should the Conservatives lose the next election.
Mr Rees-Mogg is said to believe ‘the right needs to have a candidate’ after what appears will be an inevitable election defeat.
Election guru Sir John Curtice’s most recent polls suggest Labor holds a 20-point lead – enough for a landslide general election victory – over the Conservatives.
Despite strongly disagreeing with swathes of the Sunak administration’s policies, Mr Rees-Mogg has urged colleagues to remain loyal to ‘minimise the damage at the next election’, the Express reports.
It comes as former Prime Minister Theresa May said she remained hopeful that Mr Sunak can still swing their recent dismal poll numbers in his favour.
Ex-Cabinet minister Nadine Dorries warned Mr Sunak yesterday if the polls keep sliding, Boris Johnson would be in Downing Street next year.
She said the former prime minister was the only person who could keep many Tory MPs – such as those in the Red Wall – in their seats at the next election.
‘I think the local elections in May are going to be absolutely difficult for us but Rishi won’t walk,’ she told the Express.
‘It will take a little bit longer than that. I think there is a chance if the polls keep sliding by this time next year we will see Boris Johnson back in Downing Street.
‘Many of the people who were anti-Boris realize they are nothing without their seats. They have no voice, no one is interested in what they will have to say, not even down at the job centre.