POLITICS

Conservative MP Heidi Allen Says She Will Quit Party If Jacob Rees-Mogg Is Made Leader

'He is not the modern face of the Tory party.'

14/08/2017 09:08 BST | Updated 14/08/2017 15:02 BST

A Conservative MP has said she would quit the party should Jacob Rees-Mogg ever become its leader.

Heidi Allen said while Rees-Mogg was “fabulous in his own right” he was “not the future” of the Tory party that she was “desperate to find”.

The South Cambridgeshire MP told BBC Radio 4′s Westminster Hour on Sunday evening: “I couldn’t be in the Conservative Party if he was my leader.”

“That’s nothing nasty to dislike Jacob at all,” she said. “He is incredibly charming and very generous and has was very welcoming to me as a new MP, we often sit quite close together.”

But she added: “He is not the modern face of the Tory party that we are desperate, or I am certainly and colleagues are certainly desperate, to prove is out there.”

Heidi Allen, MP for South Cambridgeshire, says she will quit the party if Jacob Rees-Mogg becomes leader.

Rees-Mogg’s look, manner and attachment to tradition has led to him being dubbed the MP for the 18th Century. 

His rise to party leader is seen as highly unlikely. However Jeremy Corbyn’s surprise capture of the Labour Party has shown outsider backbench candidates should not always be dismissed.

A survey for Conservative Home revealed Rees-Mogg was second favourite of Tory grassroots to be the next leader behind Brexit Secretary David Davis.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph today, Rees-Mogg said he supported Theresa May “unequivocally” and did “not covet her job”.

He said: “I want to be the servant of the Conservative Party, not its master.”

However his article, which sets out his vision for the party, is likely to fuel speculation that he could consider running for leader rather than dampen it down.

Ted Malloch, the academic who touted himself as a possible US ambassador to the EU, told the Mail on Sunday that Rees-Mogg had revealed he did have leadership ambitions.

“I was at a lunch with Jacob very recently and he indicated he would like to be considered for the leadership when the time comes,” Malloch said.

Playing down the idea he wanted to be leader, Rees-Mogg told The Sunday Times yesterday: “I think if I threw my hat in the ring, my hat would be thrown back at me pretty quickly.”

Allen told the BBC she would “help with” throwing Rees-Mogg’s hat back at him if necessary.