Although Jacob Rees-Mogg likes to insist that he is an unsuitable candidate for the role of Prime Minister, he still manages to fit in an impressive number of media appearances, public speaking engagements and constituency visits for your average backbencher. Tonight Rees-Mogg descended on the Boothroyd room in Portcullis House for a Conservative Voice event to share his thoughts on the state of his party.
He criticised CCHQ for taking power away from local associations, praised the work of volunteers in the election campaign and called for a manifesto at the next election that would not be met with surprise by Tory members. Asked in the Q&A whether he would rule out entering a future leadership contest, Rees-Mogg pointed to the fact that he does not have the ministerial experience expected of a Prime Minister to be. So, would Rees-Mogg accept a ministerial role in a Cabinet reshuffle so he could get that required experience?
‘I want to put the argument forward for what it is to be a Conservative and be positive about being a Conservative – being Conservative is a wonderful thing. It’s something we should be proud of that makes the country strong and makes the country great in spite of the best efforts of the socialists to mess it up every time they interrupt things.
And that’s where I think I can serve and that’s what I want to do. I think it’s about ideas and then encouraging others to take up the banner and implement them rather than office-holding. Office-holding is important but it is only a part of how you develop the nation’s politics.’
Watch out Patrick McLoughlin, that sounds an awful lot like a pitch for party chairman…