A silly season story we can ignore or a real possibility?
The betting chart above shows the dramatic changes there’ve been in the CON leadership Betfair betting over the weekend with interest in the once clear favourite, Davd Davis, moving down sharply and the extraordinary rise of back-bencher Jacob Rees-Mogg.
William Hill reported last night that ““There is definitely some momentum behind Jacob Rees-Mogg and in the last month he has been the most popular candidate by far”.
The latest moves appear to have been sparked off by two factors – an article by Matthew Parris in the Times on Saturday and and a fiery Radio 4 discussion between Rees-Mogg and James Chapman, the ex-aide to the BrexSec, James Chapman, of which much has been written following his avalanche of Tweets.
This will be further fueled by an article in the Telegraph under the heading “Exclusive: Cut stamp duty now, says Jacob Rees-Mogg, as he reveals his vision for the Conservative Party”.. In his article Rees-Mogg writes:
“..One of life’s small pleasures is that those who do not dispose themselves in a spirit of friendship often do more good than harm. The golden-penned Matthew Parris, by attacking the idea of my becoming leader of the Conservative Party, has given it a spurious veneer of respectability that it does not deserve. 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.
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,...”
But if he is dissing the idea of being leader and PM then why is he setting out his vision for the party? That is exactly what serious leadership contenders would be doing. His point, though, about never having held high ministerial office is surely a good one but these are strange times.
Maybe the prospect of having PM Rees-Mogg will help reinforce the case for keeping the humiliated GE2017 failure, TMay in post?
I wish I was Betfair punter who got £5 on Rees-Mogg at 170/1 who must be feeling pretty pleased at the moment.