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MPs should not vote against the party manifesto, says Jacob Rees-Mogg: I vote for foreign aid budget even though it’s “idiotic”

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg talking to UnHerd's Charlie Pickles.

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg talking to UnHerd's Charlie Pickles.

January 17, 2018   2 mins

The title of this article summarises one of the observations that Jacob Rees-Mogg MP made within an extended Q&A that he conducted with UnHerd last week. He said that MPs could rebel against the party whip on matters of permanent constitutional impact or on questions of personal morality – but in all other circumstances they should work with ministers to implement the manifesto upon which they were elected – even if it did include “idiotic” policies such as the Tory pledge to spend 0.7% of national income on overseas aid.

He also said that Tories needed to bring coherence to their policy agenda and at the last election the manifesto was an unconnected set of policies that failed to match the clear programme offered by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Talking to our capitalism editor, Charlotte Pickles, he also warned against any post-Brexit cutting back of British workers’ rights in any industry where labour has little power relative to employers. He added that Conservatives should be proud of their role in acting against the awful factory conditions of the early period of the industrial revolution when, inspired by Shaftesbury, the party fulfilled its obligations to the less fortunate.

The video at the top of the page covers the handful of political questions we asked him, and the video at the bottom captures a couple of religious issues.

Jacob Rees-Mogg receives communion during the funeral of former Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor. Credit: Victoria Jones, PA Images.

Mr Rees-Mogg, a committed Roman Catholic, said he’d definitely prefer to be the Pope than Prime Minister – laughing that he’d then be “infallible”!

He described Christianity as “true”, defended the established church, and said religious belief should largely be private.

There are three more short videos from our time with the “Moggster” and they will be published tomorrow and Friday. Follow us on Twitter to ensure you don’t miss them.

Tim Montgomerie was most recently a columnist and comment editor for The Times of London. Before that journalistic turn he was steeped in centre right politics, founding the Conservative Christian Fellowship, then the Centre for Social Justice and, just over ten years ago, ConservativeHome.com.


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