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Can Jacob Rees-Mogg become Britain’s 55th prime minister—and Eton’s 20th?

The Archbishop of Brexit is edging closer towards the leadership of a country which is—unexpectedly, bizarrely but unmistakably—within his grasp

By Sonia Purnell   May 2018

Illustration by Tim McDonagh

Like all winning populist politicians, from Donald Trump to Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg is a carefully created persona, a semi-permanent work of performance art. His words and deeds are calibrated to perfect that seemingly-spontaneous air that today qualifies an “authentic” figure, who lies outside a despised and discredited mainstream. Anything likely to impinge on the persona must be ruthlessly avoided or abandoned.

It must have been for this reason that the 48-year-old Rees-Mogg, Tory MP for North-East Somerset since 2010, declined to join a fish-flinging…

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