Top Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg handed Cabinet role in Boris Johnson shake-up

Posted On: 
25th July 2019

Leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has been handed a senior role in Boris Johnson's first Cabinet as Prime Minister.

Mr Rees-Mogg was handed his first government job
Credit: 
PA

The arch-euroscpetic was named the new Leader of the Commons - his first ever frontbench role - as Mr Johnson gave key jobs to Leave supporters in a radical shake-up of the Government.

As the man in charge of timetabling government business, Mr Rees-Mogg will play a key role in piloting the new Prime Minister's Brexit plans through Parliament.

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Mr Rees-Mogg, who was a ferocious critic of Mrs May's Brexit plans, said he was "privileged" to get the job, but denied there had been a Vote Leave takeover of Number 10.

"I think to characterise it as a sort of Vote Leave coup is a mistake and is forgetting that the Chancellor of the Exchequer [Sajid Javid] and the International Trade Secretary [Liz Truss] were both Remainers," he told Sky News.

"The Prime Minister kindly offered me a very interesting job to do, one that is something that I'm very interested in because parliamentary procedure and practice is something I've spent a lot of time on."

But asked if he would struggle to get a no-deal through Parliament, he told ITV's Robert Peston that MPs had "already agreed to it".

"Well, the House of Commons it has to be remembered has already passed the Article 50 Act and the Withdrawal Act, so the law, passed by the House of Commons, agreed by the House of Commons, is that we leave on 31 October with or without a deal, so just for the status quo to maintain means we leave without a deal unless a deal is passed.

"So when people say that the House of Commons will stop it, they are rather forgetting that the House of Commons has already agreed to it."

His appointment came alongside a raft of late-night changes which saw Gavin Williamson - who was sacked as Defence Secretary in May after being accused of leaking details of a National Security Council meeting - become Education Secretary.

Former Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey becomes a housing minister, while Jo Johnson, the Prime Minister's brother, will also return to government as a business minister.

Meanwhile, former Brexit minister Kwasi Kwarteng was also given a new role as energy minister and will also attend Cabinet. Mr Kwarteng's appointment was reportedly delayed because Downing Street was unable to contact him after he turned his phone off.

Sky News' Sam Coates said: "Am told from inside that Kwasi Kwatang hasn’t got a job today cos he’s not answered his phone all day and has gone awol with mobile off all day. Perhaps he shd head to No10. If seen, bundle him in an Uber..."

* Keep up-to-date with all the new government appointments with the PoliticsHome reshuffle liveblog.