Mogg gone? Boris Johnson refuses to confirm Jacob Rees-Mogg will remain in his Cabinet after the super-rich MP was forced to make a humiliating apology for saying that Grenfell Tower fire victims lacked ‘common sense’
- The Commons leader has been sidelined from Conservative election campaign
- PM declined to get drawn into Cabinet ‘speculation’ about the Brexiteer’s future
- But he’d already guaranteed Sajid Javid would stay Chancellor if he wins election
Jacob Rees-Mogg’s ministerial career is hanging by a thread today after the Prime Minister refused to rule out sacking him after controversial criticism of victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
The Commons leader, previously a familiar face on television and radio, has been sidelined from the Conservative election campaign and did not even appear at the manifesto launch.
The North East Somerset MP was forced to apologise after saying that the 72 people who died in the West London inferno lacked common sense because they followed firefighters’ advice to stay in their flats.
The Prime Minister twice today threw the Commons leader’s future into question when, instead of guaranteeing the top Tory a place on his frontbench, he vowed not be drawn into Cabinet speculation.
During an interview on LBC, he was grilled by Nick Ferrari over the whereabouts of Mr Rees-Mogg, with the broadcaster suggesting Number 10 has banned him from media interviews following his tasteless comments.
Mr Johnson replied: ‘I’m not going to get into measuring up the curtains type conversations.’
But Ferrari pointed out the Prime Minister had already pledged to keep Sajid Javid as chancellor if he keeps power after December 12.
The North East Somerset MP (right) was forced to apologise after saying that the 72 people who died in the West London inferno lacked common sense because they followed firefighters’ advice to stay in their flats
The Prime Minister twice today threw the Commons leader’s future into question when he declined to guaranteeing the top Tory a place in the Government
Deflecting, Mr Johnson repeated his refusal to commit to keeping the Brexiteer Commons leader in post.
And he was forced to double-down on this non-committal approach at a press conference later.
Asked by the Daily Mail why Mr Rees-Mogg had been ‘exiled to a bunker in Somerset since his comments on Grenfell,’ Mr Johnson said: ‘Any commentary on that would be categorised as people as me being overconfident about this election, this is going to be a very close fought and we’re fighting for every vote.
Mr Rees-Mogg, previously a familiar face on television and radio, has been sidelined from the Conservative election campaign and did not even appear at the manifesto launch on Sunday
‘Jacob Rees-Mogg and the rest of the cabinet to the best of my knowledge are in very good health and fighting hard right now, for re-election.’
Mr Rees-Mogg used to be regarded by Downing Street as a top media performer who could articulate the government’s Brexiteer message.
But he has been largely absent from the Conservatives’ national campaign, sparking speculation he has been told to go to ground because of how his Grenfell comments went down with voters.