Comedy Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg is keen to take credit for the defeat of housing estate planning applicationsthreatening to blight two villages in his constituency:
“This is a great success for local people who campaigned tirelessly against the proposals to develop on greenbelt land. I wrote to the Secretary of State on behalf of these constituents, urging him to reject these applications in light of local opposition and the party’s stance on greenbelt planning and I am delighted that he has done so.”
But Scrapbook can bring readers news of another planning victory for locals in the area — one which does not merit official comment on Rees-Mogg’s website. A proposal to homes on a greenfield site in the village of Hinton Blewett was also rejected by the local council:
“The proposed development of 19 dwellings in this location, in spite of the identified shortfall in housing provision would be of limited benefit that would be greatly outweighed by the significant harm to and loss of a very attractive undeveloped space and the setting, character and appearance of the adjoining Conservation Area.”
Regular readers may recall that the applicant is one Lady Gillian Rees-Mogg — Jacob’s mother — who, planning officials could not resist noting, refused to withdraw the application despite being warned informally that it was destined for refusal.
Villagers formed a group called PRAM (Peasants Revolting Against Mogg) to fight the scheme.
Tory toff Jacob Rees-Mogg is earning his political keep with the citizens of Saltford, on whose behalf the Somerset MP lobbied Eric Pickles to kill off proposals to build 99 homes on green belt land. With approval from a government inspector, the scheme was set to go ahead until until the decision was ‘called in’ by the communities secretary.
“I’m sure I speak on behalf of all Saltford residents in sending our thanks to Eric Pickles for throwing out these plans, and to Jacob Rees-Mogg for asking for the application to be called in.”
With this timely intervention by Rees-Mogg, the residents of another village in his constituency can surely count on his support in blocking proposals — said to be exploiting a “planning loophole” — to build another housing estate on farmland?
With Tory spinners attempting an ambitious rebrand as “the Workers’ party”, the voter-repelling mad-old-granny-in-the-attic of Tory MPs — Jacob Rees-Mogg — would surely be pretty low on the list candidates to front the initiative.
But ‘The Mogg’ appears determined to sabotage the PR drive — by travelling to the post-industrial north with aChannel 4 News camera crew in tow. The kamikaze adventures aired last night include calling bingo in a working men’s club (above) and attempting to engage with passers by on the high street (below).
For context, the Old Etonian investment banker said ofbringing his nanny to campaign in the Labour stronghold of Central Fife:
“I do wish you wouldn’t keep going on about my nanny”
“If I had a valet, you’d think it was perfectly normal.”
This exchange certainly does not augur well:
Local woman: “I like Labour” The Mogg: “And why do you like Labour?” Local woman: “Because David Cameron’s a prick” The Mogg: “Okay, that’s a blunt answer” Local woman: “Wasn’t it David Cameron who did the Bedroom Tax …?”
He’s certainly taken his time developing a sense of humour. In 2011 The Eton-educated MP for North East Somerset tried to get the account shut down, complaining that he found the tweets “quite tiresome”:
“I am going to look into how it can be closed down. It is quite clearly an attempt to impersonate me.”
And millionaire Rees-Mogg is not averse to calling in the lawyers. In 2010 he threatened legal action against a student who set up a website lampooning him as an out-of-touch toff — forcing the site to close and its creator to sign an undertaking not to repeat the stunt.
Stating that “I am not allowed to speak to ordinary people as it tends to upset them” the satirical jacobreesmogg.org.uk site also had a comment section with the notice: “To be frightfully honest, if I want your opinion I shall ask for it.”
“I am quite capable of being silly without other people saying silly things for me.”
Humourless Tory toff Jacob Rees-Mogg is attempting to close down a spoof Twitter account set up in his name. Although the Somerset MP claimed he was initially “quite relaxed” about the account, he changed his mind after a report based on the following tweet was posted on the Daily Telegraph website.
The Telegraph later updated their article to highlight the inauthentic nature of the account – but couldn’t resist pointing out Rees Mogg had still not denied meeting his better half over a frozen fillet of plaice.
Thin-skinned Rees Mogg has form for calling in lawyers at the first sign of satire, having last year threatened legal proceedings to shut down a spoof blog site. The Somerset MP will be familiar to Scrapbook readers for this gaffe on the BBC’s Daily Politics in which he claimed teachers and lollipop ladies would be “bonkers” to vote for him.
Rees-Mogg, who says he wouldn’t use Twitter even if he was paid to, also told the Bath Chronicle “I am quite capable of being silly without other people saying silly things for me.”
The Mail on Sunday this weekend reported the story of the Conservatives’ deselection of a female candidate following a controversial interview conducted when she was eight months pregnant. The row prompted a scathing letter to Tory top brass from her furious brother, Somerset MP Jacob Rees-Mogg. Political Scrapbook has obtained a full copy of this correspondence, which is reproduced below.
Failing to beat Lib Dem David Heath in a seat neighbouring her brother’s, Annunziata Rees-Mogg was one of the ill-fated Tatler Tory A-listers who did not make it to Westminster in 2010. In a letter to the chairman of the Conservatives’ backbench 1922 Committee (copied to MPs on the board of the party, the chief whip and David Cameron’s chief of staff) the Tory toff raged against comments made regarding his sister’s pregnancy by the party’s head of human resources:
“The attitude of Central Office is shameful … It was also suggested that Annunciata could have ticked the box for ‘disability’ but I feel most reasonable people would call that a contemptible suggestion.”
The note also lays a number of other frank criticisms at the door of CCHQ:
Jacob Rees-Mogg accuses paid regional organisers in his own patch for using his sister as a scapegoat for their own poor performance.
Party officials sent junior “sidekicks” to meetings with Annunziata.
The selection process is described as “illogical” and “arbitrary”.
It is claimed the process denies “standard data protection rights”.
“the Candidates’ department has behaved with generally poor manners”.
Scrapbook can only hope Jacob Rees-Mogg pursues the grievances of his constituents with equal vigour.
Tory toff Jacob Rees-Mogg told viewers of Politics Show South West this weekend that a teacher or lollipop lady would be “bonkers” to vote for him:
Sadly, we witnessed not a moment of honesty but a slip-up from the North East Somerset MP. Despite David Garmston generously offering Rees-Mogg the opportunity to correct himself, however, he stubbornly blames the presenter, claiming “You meant Conservative but you said Labour.”
Even demotion to regional TV can’t stop the Rees-Mogg media disaster.