‘I might be the only Tory MP who isn’t going to stand’: Jacob Rees-Mogg rules himself OUT of the leadership race (for now) and throws his support behind Boris as he blasts rivals ‘who have no chance of winning’
- Told This Morning the wide field was delaying the decision with Brexit looming
- He said: ‘We are in a period of constitutional crisis, of national need for a leader’
- Brexit Minister James Cleverly became 11th minister to officially declare today
Mr Rees-Mogg told This Morning; ‘I might be the only Tory MP who isn’t going to stand for the leadership’
Jacob Rees-Mogg hit out at the number of Tory MPs running to be Tory leader today, saying many who had ‘no chance of winning’ were delaying the decision during the Brexit crisis.
The hardline Brexiteer, who is backing Boris Johnson to take over from Theresa May, joked ‘I might be the only Tory MP who isn’t going to stand for the leadership’ – before refusing to rule out running in the future.
His intervention came as Brexit Minister James Cleverly became the 11th minister to officially declare they were running in the summer leadership battle today – with more still expected to join them.
Mr Rees-Mogg told This Morning: ‘I think we are in a period of constitutional crisis, of national need for a leader to take over and we don’t want people delaying the process who have no chance of winning.
‘And I think people should reflect very carefully about whether they have any chance and if it’s worth standing.’
He also said he would not be standing himself this time, adding: ‘I would have been a completely proliferate candidate.
‘I got some support from members of the party, but I wouldn’t have got through… I think Boris would do a better job than I would.
‘I think it makes sense to support the best person for the job.’
Brexit Minister James Cleverly became the 11th minister to officially declare they were running in the summer leadership battle today
Mr Rees-Mogg added: ‘I think people should reflect very carefully about whether they have any chance and if it’s worth standing’
So far Mr Johnson and Mr Cleverly have been joined in the race by Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Dominic Raab, Matt Hancock, Rory Stewart, Esther McVey, Kit Malthouse, Andrea Leadsom and Sajid Javid.
Other including Steve Baker and Mark Harper are widely expected to announce themselves in coming days.
Mr Rees-Mogg took a dig at Remainer Mr Stewart after he ruled out serving under Boris Johnson.
Asked about what Cabinet job he might get in a Johnson administration Mr Rees-Mogg said: ‘It is so little about me as an individual, it’s about the nation.
‘So, I’ll do anything I can to support Boris. I’ll support whoever wins the leadership. I’m not like Rory Stewart saying I wouldn’t help another leader.’
Asked whether he would ever rule out running for the leadership, the European Research Group chairman said: ‘I think it’s highly unlikely, but I think it would be unwise to rule it out.
‘One can’t foresee the future.’
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