Rees-Mogg tops Tory poll on next party leader

By Alessandra Rizzo, Political Reporter
During the summer he shrugged off speculation of a Tory leadership bid, but now Jacob Rees-Mogg has emerged as the grassroots favourite to succeed Theresa May.
The North East Somerset MP topped a survey of party supporters conducted by ConservativeHome, garnering 23% of the vote.Brexit Secretary David Davis came in second with 15%. However, 19% ticked the "other" box.The 1,309-strong vote is seen as a reliable barometer of grassroots mood, though it can also shift quickly. Mr Rees-Mogg was second favourite in the survey last month.The colourful backbencher and staunch Brexit supporter, known as "the MP for the 18th century" for his unashamedly old-fashioned ways, has enjoyed growing popularity in recent months.He has become an unlikely social media darling. And as MPs return to Westminster amid speculation of a ministerial reshuffle, he has been named among rising Tory stars who might be up for promotion.
Rees-Mogg tops Tory poll on next party leader

Jacob Rees-Mogg shared this photo of his new-born son on Instagram
To his supporters, he is a right-wing antidote to Jeremy Corbyn for authenticity and charisma, but critics say the old Etonian would reinforce the view that Conservatives are privileged and detached.Commenting on the survey, Paul Goodman, the ConservativeHome editor, said Mr Rees-Mogg's surge is the result of "party member disillusion with the present senior options" to replace Mrs May.
"In the absence of anyone that party members find convincing, Rees-Mogg is a gainer from what is essentially a protest vote," he wrote.
Rees-Mogg tops Tory poll on next party leader

Debate: Can Theresa May hold on?
Chancellor Philip Hammond won just 3% of votes, while 7% went to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.Mr Rees-Mogg - who over the summer announced the birth of his sixth child, Sixtus Dominic Boniface Christopher - has dismissed media reports he is considering running for the top job."I think if I threw my hat in the ring, my hat would be thrown back at me pretty quickly," he said. However, he has not ruled out standing for the leadership in the future.He has also thrown his support behind Mrs May, who announced last week she wants to lead the Tories at the next General Election in 2022.The announcement was met with scepticism from some of her own MPs, following Mrs May's poor showing at the last vote in June.But Mr Rees-Mogg told Sky News last week that the PM is doing a "good job" in Brexit talks and deserves to be backed.
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