Could Jacob Rees-Mogg join the cabinet after Patel’s resignation?
Priti Patel resigned over secret meetings in Israel which had not been run past Prime Minister May, but what will her resignation mean for the shape of the cabinet, and could it provide an opportunity for Jacob Rees-Mogg to grab a seat at the table? Of course, it could be somebody who is already a Minister or Junior Minister, but I will be looking at the possibility that it will be a backbencher, which I think is more likely.
The former International Development Minister was both a woman and a Brexiteer – two categories of Ministers that are both in the minority in the cabinet. If May does not appoint a woman, then she will receive a great deal of stick from the women’s rights movements and from many of her own female MPs. If she does not appoint a Brexiteer, she will get a huge amount of criticism from Brexit supporters both in her own party and beyond. It is likely that Priti’s replacement will be both a woman and a Brexiteer, but at the very least we can expect that they will be at least one of these.
While this is a very narrow field, there are a handful of names that come to mind. Theresa Villiers, for example, has 6 years of cabinet experience, supported Brexit and of course is female. However, Villiers backed Andrea Leadsome rather than Theresa May for leader and turned down a position which May offered her at the start of her leadership, which together make her appointment seem rather unlikely. Besides Villiers, there are few well-known female MPs who supported Brexit who could be appointed, which leaves the Mogg as a rather likely option.
Now, the question that we’re all asking is this – could Moggy really get the job? The well-spoken traditional Brexiteer was recently “seriously considering” a PM bid, and it is thought that he would almost certainly accept any Cabinet officer if he were to receive one.
Speaking about the prospect of becoming PM, the softly spoken ‘posh boy’ MP for North Somerset said:
‘I rather think if I threw my hat into the ring, my hat would be thrown back at me pretty quickly’.
Jacob Rees-Mogg is very vocal about foreign aid – which comes under the remit of International Development Minister – in that he wants to reduce it by a significant amount, and change where it goes. This has come as a great upset to the government, who rather seem to enjoy wasting our money!
Personally, I don’t think that it’s likely that the Mogg will get a Cabinet position because, even though he is extremely vocal about International Development, Theresa May is a remainer and she doesn’t want an ardent Brexiteer like Mogg getting in the way of her plotting.
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