Jacob Rees-Mogg has dodged questions over whether he would agree to serve as a minister in Theresa May’s government, following rumours he could be in line for a promotion.
The North East Somerset MP, who emerged as surprise frontrunner to take over as Tory leader when May steps down, said his chances of becoming a minister were “remarkably limited” but did not rule out accepting a role.
“I am not ambitious to do anything other than get returned in North East Somerset,” he told the BBC’s Daily Politics. “I think to start putting oneself forward is great mistake.”
He added: “In a way you have a great deal more freedom to discuss issues from the backbenches. I am not bound by collective responsibility. I don’t have constraints on me on what I am allowed to say.”
According to The Times, Rees-Mogg could be handed a ministerial job in order to give him experience beyond being a backbencher.
He said today that given May had once “giggled” when directly asked by a journalist whether she would give him a job it seemed unlikely.
Pressed on whether he would accept a job, he added: “Heaven knows, next you’ll be offering my the Papacy.”
Rees-Mogg also downplayed the talk over the summer that he could have an eye on the leadership.
“I am as astonished as you are. It’s all jolly August stuff now we are in September I imagine it will calm down,” he said.
For the interview, the BBC made Rees-Mogg speak infront of a mocked up background of Downing Street.