Jacob William Rees-Mogg is a British politician serving as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy since 6 September 2022. He previously served as Minister of State for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2022 and Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council from 2019 to 2022. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for North East Somerset since 2010. A member of the Conservative Party, Rees-Mogg has been associated with socially conservative views.
Rees-Mogg was born in Hammersmith, London. He was educated at Westminster Under School, Eton College and Trinity College, Oxford, where he read history and presided the Oxford University Conservative Association. He went on to work in the City of London and in Hong Kong for Lloyd George Management until 2007, when he co-founded the hedge fund management business Somerset Capital Management LLP. He amassed a significant fortune: it was estimated at between £55 million and £150 million in 2016, including his wife's expected inheritance. Rees-Mogg unsuccessfully contested the 1997 and 2001 general elections before being elected as the MP for North East Somerset in 2010. He was reelected in 2015 and 2017, with an increased share of the vote each time, as well as in 2019, with a smaller share of the vote. Within the Conservative Party, he joined the traditionalist and socially conservative Cornerstone Group.
During the Premiership of David Cameron, Rees-Mogg was one of the Conservative Party's most rebellious MPs, opposing the Whip's office on a number of issues. He became known for his speeches and filibustering in parliamentary debates. A Eurosceptic, he proposed an electoral pact between the Conservatives and the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and campaigned for the UK to Leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum. A member of the Eurosceptic European Research Group (ERG), Rees-Mogg was elected its chairman in 2018. He attracted support through the social media campaign Moggmentum and was promoted as a potential successor to Prime Minister Theresa May as Leader of the Conservative Party. He instead endorsed Boris Johnson in the 2019 leadership contest. Following Johnson's election as Conservative Leader and appointment as Prime Minister he appointed Rees-Mogg Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council. In February 2022, Rees-Mogg was moved by Johnson to the role of Minister of State for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency. After Johnson resigned in July 2022, Rees-Mogg supported Liz Truss's bid to become Conservative leader. Following Truss's appointment as Prime Minister, she appointed Rees-Mogg as Business Secretary.
Rees-Mogg has been praised as a conviction politician whose anachronistic upper-class mannerisms and consciously traditionalist attitudes are often seen as entertaining. Critics view him as a reactionary figure; the traditionalist attitudes have been characterised as obscuring controversial political views, some of which have made him the target of organised protests. He has been dubbed the "Honourable Member for the 18th century" by critics.