Jacob Rees-Mogg warns Theresa May that she is not more important than Brexit
Jacob Rees-Mogg has warned Theresa May that she is not more important than either Brexit or the Conservative Party, as speculation continues about her future.
The leading Brexiteer also claimed that the Tories will be punished at the polls if they deliver "Brexit in name only".
And he insisted that making a clean break from the European Union was the best way of ensuring Jeremy Corbyn is never Prime Minister.
Deep Tory splits over Brexit have burst into the open again after Philip Hammond suggested the UK's relationship with the EU will only change "very modestly" once it quits the bloc.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Mr Rees-Mogg insisted Mrs May "has my full support", adding: "May the PM live forever, Amen, Amen, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Amen."
But he added: "If the Conservative Party doesn't deliver the Brexit that the British people voted for, the Conservatives will not win the next election.
"The leader is important, but the party is more important. Brexit is more important than anyone other than the Queen."
The North East Somerset MP - recently elected chairman of the influential European Research Group of Tory backbench Brexiteers - urged the Government not to implement "Brino" - Brexit in name only.
"The less of Brexit you get, the more likely you are to get Jeremy Corbyn," he said. "If you get a good, clean Brexit and get the advantages from it then the chances of getting Jeremy Corbyn are much diminished.
"If everything is delayed for two years and then there's high alignment you will find that by 2022 no-one will have noticed any difference from having left. Then what will be the point of voting for the party that's implemented it. I'm against 'Brino'."
Meanwhile, it has also been reported that Mrs May has been forced to ditch plans for a major Brexit speech amid fears it could cause a fresh Cabinet rift.
The Prime Minister had been expected to deliver an address aetting out more details of her vision for Britain outside the EU in the next few weeks.
But according to The Times, a government official said "no work is currently ongoing" on the speech although it had not been "ruled out totally".