An oil on canvas board portrait of a young Jacob Rees-Mogg. 25cm x 30cm (10″ x 12″).
Jacob William Rees-Mogg (born 24 May 1969) is a British politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for North East Somerset since 2010. A member of the Conservative Party, he has been ideologically characterised as a High Tory and social conservative with reactionary, traditionalist, and right-wing populist views.
Rees-Mogg was born into a wealthy family in Hammersmith, London, and was educated at Eton College, then studied History at Trinity College, Oxford, and was president of the Oxford University Conservative Association. He worked in the City of London for Lloyd George Management until 2007, then co-founded a hedge fund management business, Somerset Capital Management LLP. Rees-Mogg has amassed a significant fortune: in 2016, he and his wife had a combined net worth estimated at more than £100 million.
Moving into politics, he unsuccessfully contested the 1997 and 2001 general elections before being elected as the member of parliament for North East Somerset in 2010. He was re-elected in 2015 and 2017. Within the Conservative Party, he joined the traditionalist and socially conservative Cornerstone Group; his views on social issues are influenced by his adherence to Roman Catholicism.
Under David Cameron’s government, Rees-Mogg was one of the Parliamentary Conservative Party’s most rebellious members, opposing the government on issues such as the introduction of same-sex marriage and further intervention in the Syrian Civil War. He became known for his speeches and filibustering in parliamentary debates. He proposed a Conservative coalition with the UK Independence Party and made regular television appearances. A Eurosceptic, he campaigned for the Leave side in the 2016 referendum on membership of the European Union and subsequently joined pro-Brexit pressure groups Leave Means Leave and the European Research Group, becoming chairman of the latter. He attracted support through the social media campaign ‘Moggmentum’ and has been promoted as a potential successor to Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May.
Rees-Mogg is a controversial figure in British politics. He has been praised as a conviction politician whose anachronistic upper-class mannerisms and consciously traditionalist attitudes are often seen as entertaining, and has been dubbed the “Honourable Member for the 18th century”. On the other hand, some of his positions have made him the target of organised protest and criticism, including calls of deselection from within his own party.