Jacob Rees-Mogg: How young MP dreamt of one day becoming prime minister

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Jacob Rees-Mogg has shown a keen interest in politics from a very young age, having once been recorded as a schoolboy saying he would “love to become prime minister”. In video footage unearthed by France’s National Audiovisual Institute, Institut National de l’Audiovisuel, the then-12-year-old was captured sharing his dreams of becoming the managing director of British industrial conglomerate GEC and later taking the position of prime minister.

He told French TV interviewers: “When I am 30, I would like to be the managing director of GEC and hopefully by the time I am 70, when I am 70, I’d love to become Prime Minister.”

The Tory MP has held the seat of North East Somerset since 2010 and currently also holds the position of Leader of the House of Commons and has been Lord President of the Council since 2019.

Born in London’s Hammersmith, he was the younger son of the former editor of The Times William Rees-Mogg.

He was one of five children, having two elder sisters and one elder brother, as well as a younger sister.

Mr Rees-Mogg was educated at independent boy’s prep school Westminster Under School, in London, and also attended Sunday school at the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Ghost in Midsomer Norton for some years.

After prep school, he entered Eton College where he was described in a school report as a “particularly dogmatic” Thatcherite, being recorded as stating in a 1982 interview: “Margaret Thatcher is the best prime minister this century.”

Throughout his youth, he was mostly raised by the family’s nanny Veronica Crook whom he has described as a formative figure in his life – so much so that she now is the nanny to his own children, and has worked with the Rees-Mogg family for over 50 years.

Though his own father said his son had been interested in money since the age of four, it was not until age 10 that he began to invest.

At this time he was left £50 by a distant cousin, and on his behalf, his father invested in shared in GEC.

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This was the beginning of his love affair with stocks and shares, going on to attend meetings with various conglomerates and even voice his opinion on dividends offered to shareholders.

Mr Rees-Mogg went on to read history at Trinity College, Oxford, where he graduated with upper second-class honours in 1991.

Though he began his career working for many years in finance, it was in 1997 that he first entered politics at the general election.

He was selected as the Conservative party candidate for Central Fife, which was traditionally a Labour seat in Scotland.

At the time, local media ridiculed him for canvassing alongside his family’s nanny.

He received the third-highest number of votes on election night, a figure lower than previous Tory candidates for the area, and the party lost all of its seats in Scotland.

In 2006, he was selected as the Conservative candidate for The Wrekin in Shropshire, but once again lost – this time to the sitting Labour MP Peter Bradley.

Yet, in 2010, he become the new MP for North East Somerset. Later that year, on the ConservativeHome blog, Mr Rees-Mogg was rated the most rebellious MP of the party.

He has gained a reputation for his humorous speeches and ability to filibuster.

In 2016, Mr Rees-Mogg supported Donald Trump, distancing himself from Trump’s Twitter messages deeming them “trivial”, but citing the businessman-turned-president as “our greatest ally after Brexit” in an article for The Times.

In 2017, rumours emerged that he may be a potential candidate for leadership of the Conservatives, but on August 13 of that year, Mr Rees-Mogg said such speculation was “part of media’s silly season”.

Following the 2017 general election, calls were made for Theresa May to step down from her role.

On September 5, a poll by ConservativeHome placed Mr Rees-Mogg as the favourite person to take the position as party leader, winning 23 percent of the votes based on 1,309 people surveyed.

In 2018, he submitted a letter of no confidence in Theresa May as prime minister over her draft Brexit proposal. He has been described as the leading figure in an effort for a vote of no confidence in May.

Mr Rees-Mogg later endorsed Boris Johnson to become the leader of the party, following Theresa May’s resignation.

Following Johnson’s election as party leader on 23 July 2019 and appointment as Prime Minister, Mr Rees-Mogg was appointed Leader of the House of Commons.

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