Mogg has claimed that Bozo’s “mandate is personal rather than entirely party”, and so “a change of leader requires a general election”. This is a clear attempt to bully those MPs elected in 2019 to so-called “Red Wall” seats into line. The problem for Mogg is that this demonstrates that he does not know what he is talking about. I will explain.
A change of Prime Minister not only does not require a General Election to take place, but on the one occasion that this has happened during the past century, it turned out disastrously - albeit not for long - for the party calling the election, which happened to be the same one that Mogg represents. Let us consider the post-1900 roll call.
Henry Campbell Bannerman led the Liberals to a landslide victory in 1906: he then resigned due to ill-health two years later. His successor as Prime Minister, Henry Asquith, did not call an immediate General Election, but went to the country in 1910. But perhaps Mogg would prefer an example from his own party? So be it.
Stanley Baldwin retired from the office of Prime Minister in 1937, handing over to Neville Chamberlain. There was no General Election. Nor was there when Chamberlain stood down in 1940 and was succeeded by Winshton. But when Baldwin succeed Andrew Bonar Law in 1923, he called an immediate General Election, and lost.
After World War 2, the precedents come thick and fast: when Winshton finally handed over to Anthony Eden, the latter did not immediately call a General Election. When Eden resigned over the Suez fiasco and was succeeded by Harold Macmillan, there was no General Election for another two years. Nor was there one when Macmillan was succeeded by Alec Douglas Home in 1963. And so to Labour.
There was no General Election when Harold Wilson resigned in 1976, to be succeeded by Jim Callaghan. When the Tories finally tired of Mrs T., there was no General Election when she was succeeded by John Major. Nor was there a General Election when Tony Blair was succeeded by Gordon Brown. Nor was there one when David Cameron was succeeded by Theresa May. Nor, at first, when Theresa May was succeeded by Bozo.
As for Mogg’s suggest that the UK has somehow adopted a “presidential system”, this, too, is bunk: consider the occasions when the USA (for instance) has changed Presidents mid-term. FDR dying in office, JFK assassinated, Nixon dispatched in disgrace: none of those events necessitated a further Presidential poll. Mogg is not as clever as he thinks.
Many Tory MPs are in rebellious mood. They are not going to be persuaded out of that state by someone appealing to an authority he does not possess. Affecting a posh accent and patrician demeanour does not make Jacob Rees Mogg clever. It does not enable him to sniff and sneer recalcitrant Red Wall Tories back into their boxes.
But it does mean those MPs will join everyone else - in seeing Mogg as a fraud.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at