Jacob Rees-Mogg joins Boris Johnson cabinet: ‘an Orwellian nightmare’
Jacob Rees-Mogg has been named the new leader of the House of Commons by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The arch-Brexiteer said that he had been given a “very interesting job to do” for his first-ever cabinet post, following Johnson’s far-reaching reshuffle.
He told Sky News on Wednesday (July 24) that the role is “something that I’m very interested in because parliamentary procedure and practice is something I’ve spent a lot of time on.”
Describing his new boss as “a man with a mission,” Rees-Mogg added: “Boris will deliver Brexit and then important domestic policies. The sun will be shining.”
Jacob Rees Mogg, who ardently opposes LGBTQ rights, is now one of the most powerful politicians in Britain.
Despite his upbeat words, many have taken a dim view to the elevation of a prominent anti-LGBT+ voice to such high office.
Leftwing pundit Owen Jones tweeted: “Jacob Rees-Mogg, who opposes abortion in cases of rape, and who ardently opposes LGBTQ rights, is now one of the most powerful politicians in Britain.”
LGBT+ activist Jack Duncan echoed Jones’ words, adding that Rees-Mogg “doesn’t even understand parliamentary procedures.”
“The whole saga is like we’ve woken up in an Orwellian nightmare,” replied one follower.
Jacob Rees-Mogg on LGBT+ issues
Rees-Mogg consistently voted against same-sex marriage in parliament, and remains steadfast in his opposition despite the introduction of marriage equality in 2014.
Speaking to Good Morning Britain in September 2017, the MP said: “I’m a Catholic, I take the teaching of the Catholic church seriously.
“Marriage is a sacrament and the view of what marriage is is taken by the church, not parliament.”
In the same interview, he said that he was “completely opposed to abortion,” even in the case of rape.
During the leadership election, Rees-Mogg defended Johnson’s use of derogatory slurs such as “tank-topped bum boys” and “piccaninnies.”
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When asked by ITV News if he was happy to “stand next to a man who said all sort of things about Muslim women looking like letterboxes for example,” the MP said that “politicians mustn’t be bland and boring and dull, they must say things that cut through to voters. People mustn’t be snowflakes.”
He has also previously criticised LGBT+ campaigners for “shutting down debate” on trans issues.
What does the leader of the House of Commons do?
In his new role, Rees-Mogg will be responsible for organising government business in the House of Commons.
Jessica Elgot, the Guardian’s chief political correspondent, suggested that the role will put him on a collision course with Tory rebel Dominic Grieve, who has tabled a number of amendments to thwart a no-deal Brexit.
“If you thought the parliamentary wrangling was impenetrable earlier this year, just wait till you see this autumn with JRM vs Grieve with added Bercow,” Elgot tweeted.
Downing Street has confirmed that Rees-Mogg will attend some cabinet meetings, suggesting that he could have influence over policy matters.
He has also been given the title lord president of the council, meaning he will preside over meetings of the Privy Council.