Childhood & Early Life
He was born Jacob William Rees-Mogg, on May 24, 1969, in Hammersmith, London, England, to William Rees-Mogg and Gillian Shakespeare Morris. His father was an editor of ‘The Times’ and his mother is the daughter of a ‘Conservative Party’ politician who was the mayor of St. Pancras, London.
He has three older siblings. He also has a younger sister named Annunziata Rees-Mogg, who grew up to be a freelance journalist and specialized in economics and European politics. He was initially raised at ‘Ston Easton Park,’ his family’s country house, till his parents moved to Hinton Blewett. He attended ‘Westminster Under School,’ an independent boys’ preparatory school, and was raised by his nanny, Veronica Crook, who has worked with the family for over 50 years and now serves as the governess of his children.
He was introduced to the stock market at the age of 10, when his distant cousin left him £ 50, which his father invested for him in the ‘General Electric Company’ (GEC). He developed an interest in the market and later attended a shareholders’ meeting of the company.
He joined ‘Eton College’ after completing preparatory school. There, he gained a reputation of being dogmatic, but not of being rebellious. His portrait by Paul Branson was displayed as part of the ‘Eton College Collections’ and was also displayed during the ‘Faces of 1993 Royal Society of Portrait Painters’ exhibit.
Jacob Rees-Mogg graduated from ‘Trinity College,’ Oxford, with an ‘Upper Second-Class Honours’ degree in history in 1991. While in college, he was the president of the ‘Oxford University Conservative Association.’ He was a frequent debater at the ‘Oxford Union’ and was elected as the librarian.
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His first job after graduation was with the investment banking company ‘Rothschild,’ under the famous fund manager Nils Taube. He relocated to Hong Kong in 1993, to work with ‘Lloyd George Management,’ where he became close friends with Governor Chris Patten. He moved back to London in 1996 and rose to be the head of ‘Lloyd George Emerging Markets Fund’ by 2003.
He left ‘Lloyd George Management’ in 2007 to set up his own company, ‘Somerset Capital Management.’ The company managed funds via the tax havens of the Cayman Islands and Singapore. After he was elected as an MP, he gave up his post as the chief executive of the company but continued to receive profits as a partner in the firm.
Rees-Mogg entered politics at the age of 26 and was selected as a ‘Conservative Party’ candidate for Central Fife, which was a traditional ‘Labour Party’ seat in Scotland. His upper-class background was not accepted by the working-class electorate. He was against the policy of the erstwhile leader of the ‘Conservative Party,’ David Cameron, who advocated more representation of ethnic minorities in the party.
He served as the chairman of the ‘Cities of London and Westminster Conservative Association,’ from 2005 to 2008. He was also one of the directors of the ‘Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth’ in London, from where he was ordered to resign due to arguments over the adoption of a tighter regulation banning abortion and gender reassignment surgery at the hospital.
Jacob Rees-Mogg was elected as the MP from the North East Somerset constituency, with a majority of 4,914 votes, in the 2010 general elections. He was rated as one of the ‘Conservative Party’s most rebellious MPs. He voted against the whip on the ‘Fixed-term Parliaments Bill,’ the ‘European Union Referendum Motion’ in 2011, and the ‘House of Lords Reform Bill’ in 2012.
He became known for his humorous speeches and his ability to filibuster proceedings of the ‘House of Commons.’ He was instrumental in preventing the passage of the ‘Daylight Saving Bill’ and ‘Sustainable Livestock Bill’ in 2010–2012.
He was a member of a number of ‘Select Committees,’ including the ‘Advisory Committee on Works of Art,’ the ‘European Scrutiny Committee,’ the ‘Joint Committee on the Palace of Westminster,’ the ‘Procedure Committee,’ the ‘Treasury Select Committee,’ and the ‘Exiting the European Union Select Committee.’
After Cameron resigned, following the referendum results, and the ‘Conservatives’ had to elect their new leader, Rees-Mogg supported Boris Johnson and Andrea Leadsom. Soon, he extended his support to Theresa May. There have also been speculations about his bid for the leadership of the ‘Conservative Party.’
He was elected as the chairman of the ‘European Research Group’ in January 2018. This strengthened his position within the ‘Conservative Party’ and further increased speculations about him trying to take over the leadership of the party. Although he has directly criticized Theresa May, he has maintained that he has no ambition of leading the party.
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He is a member of the ‘Cornerstone Group’ and is a staunch monarchist. He is described as a right-wing populist and has been accused of being racist. However, this has helped him gain support within the ‘Conservative Party.’
He is vocal about his view that the ‘European Union’ is a threat to British sovereignty and was one of the prominent figures in the campaign for ‘Brexit,’ Britain’s exit from the ‘European Union.’
Contrary to the views of the ‘Conservative Party,’ he advocates for academy-based education and supports public schools and the prestigious universities of ‘Oxford’ and ‘Cambridge.’ Many have accused him of snobbery and elitism.
He supports a free market but believes that government intervention is required to steer the system, whenever required. He supports technology and is of the view that measures to check climate change should not hinder development of new technology.
He is against the involvement of British resources in the war in Syria and other conflict zones and attributes the rise in terrorism to the efforts to undermine Assad. He believes that Britain’s foreign-aid policy is hurting the country’s economy.
He is against the entry of low-skilled immigrants in the UK and advocates stricter immigration laws. However, he supports the rights of non-British ‘European Union’ citizens living in the UK.
Rees-Mogg’s personal lifestyle is marked with affluence and high-profile connections. He has generated controversies because of his extreme views. He has always flaunted his privileges and has not been modest about them. He has invested in expensive properties, including the ‘Grade II’-listed ‘Gournay Court’ and a house worth £ 5.625 million, on Cowley Street, behind ‘Westminster Abbey.’
He has been active on ‘Twitter’ and ‘Instagram’ since 2017 and is well aware of social-media trends. He is also a keen collector of vintage cars and owns a 1968 ‘T-Series Bentley’ and a ‘Lexus,’ among other historic vehicles. He has been a supporter of the ‘Somerset County Cricket Club’ since his younger days and takes keen interest in the sport.
He married Helena de Chair, the only child of Somerset de Chair and Lady Juliet Tadgell, at ‘Canterbury Cathedral,’ Kent, in 2007. The couple have six children who were mostly raised by their nanny. Jacob was not too involved in raising his children in their younger days.
He is a follower of the ‘Catholic Church’ and is against abortion and same-sex marriage.
He was described as David Cameron’s worst nightmare during the 2010 general election campaign.
His sister, Annunziata Rees-Mogg, contested the 2010 general elections from a neighboring constituency. However, she lost by 1,817 votes.
In February 2012, he used the word “floccinaucinihilipilification” during a parliamentary debate. The word was recorded as the longest word ever used in a ‘House of Commons’ debate.
He initially supported Donald Trump during the US presidential elections but later distanced himself from Trump due to the controversies surrounding him.