Jacob Rees-Mogg Distances Himself From Claims Of Tory Leadership Bid

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Meanwhile, academic Ted Malloch told the Mail on Sunday that Mr Rees-Mogg had let slip his leadership ambitions during a private lunch.

But last week a poll of Conservative members for the ConservativeHome website found he was in second place, behind David Davis, the Brexit secretary, as their preferred next party leader.

He added: "He did not mean now, but at some point in the future".

The findings reflect a belief among some Tories that the "young fogey" MP could be a right-wing antidote to the popularity of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. The Sunday Times ran a front-page story saying Rees-Mogg was "sounding out" colleagues about a leadership bid.

In on-the-record comments to both papers, Rees-Mogg strongly played down the prospect of becoming party leader - but did not fully rule out standing as a candidate. Reports on Sunday said the Conservative MP was weighing up whether he should enter the race to succeed May whose leadership has been brought into question following a disastrous general election campaign. "Jacob is loyal to a fault and would never do anything to destabilise Theresa May", they said.

They added however: "But should she stand aside. he is starting to look at some of his more ambitious peers and wonder what they have got that he hasn't".

"It is unrealistic for me to go from the backbenches to being leader".

"I am not a cabinet minister so it is hard to see how I could be a candidate".

"There is no formulation of words I could use that would satisfy people but it is just not going to happen. People don't have a huge amount of pressing United Kingdom political news to write about, and therefore there's this jolly stuff about me". "I am not delusional".