Jacob Rees-Mogg is now one of the favourites to become the Conservative leader.
The Tory backbencher is according to a Conservative Home survey, in front of Michael Gove and Boris Johnson.
Mr Neil asked: “Jacob Rees-Mogg is now the bookies’ favourite and indeed in some internal Tory Party polling is the favourite to succeed, what do you make of that?”
Michael Portillo replied: ““I make of it that he is now one of about five or six Tories that the public can name, and that because he is not in office he has the luxury of saying pretty much what he thinks, that he is clear cut and relatively charismatic and that he has ideas and that all of these things are what the public is crying out for.
“So I’m not surprised that this is his position.”
Mr Rees-Mogg is exactly who we need to lead the UK and Brexit talks.
He understands what we voted for and is himself a leave voter.
Jacob Rees-Mogg TRIGGERS Westminster storm with ‘extraordinary’ Brexit claims
Jacob Rees-Mogg has caused an uproar in parliament and the treasury as he accused them of creating a model which, under any circumstances, gives the outcome that staying in the Customs Union was the best option and all others were bad.
Speaking in the Commons on Thursday, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “Will my honourable friend, the minister and member for Wycombe, confirm that he heard from Charles Grant from the Centre of European Research that officials in the Treasury had deliberately developed a model to show that all options other than staying in the customs union were bad and that officials intended to use those to influence policy?”
In reply to Mr Rees-Moggs question Mr Baker said: “Mr Speaker, I am sorry to say that my honourable friend’s account is essentially correct.
“At the time I considered it implausible because my direct experience is that civil servants are extraordinarily careful to uphold the impartiality of the civil service.”
“I think that we need to be very careful not to take this forward in an inappropriate way but he has reminded me of what I heard.”
General secretary Dave Penman vented his anger at Mr Baker for in a way accepting Mr Rees-Moggs ‘half-baked conspiracy theory’, he said: “To stand at the despatch box and refuse to challenge a half-baked conspiracy theory about the civil service – one that even now is being disowned by its supposed source – is the height of irresponsibility from a serving minister.
“It’s not good enough for Mr Baker to simply shrug his shoulders and allow unfounded accusations about officials to go unchallenged. Every day civil servants put their personal views to one side and work tirelessly to implement the decision of ministers – and they do so with a professionalism that puts the likes of Mr Baker to shame.
“These cowardly actions are beneath the office he holds and Mr Baker risks seriously undermining the government he is part of.”