Major shock as Jacob Rees-Mogg 'backs' John Bercow as next PM
Jacob Rees-Mogg has thrown a curveball into the Tory leadership race as he backed Speaker John Bercow to take the country forward.
The arch-Brexiteer told his LBC call-in show this morning that the Commons Speaker - frequently accused of pro-Remain bias by Tory MPs - was the only person able to command a Parliamentary majority and take on the top job.
"I would have thought John Bercow would be the best bet for us," he told stunned host Nick Ferrari.
The European Research Group chair added: "I think the last person to become Prime Minister from Speaker was [Henry] Addington who took over from William Pitt.
"And... Bercow has shown that he is able to get together a majority in the House of Commons, that he's managing to keep it together, and historically the Prime Minister is the person who commands a majority in the House of Commons."
Perhaps sensing something was amiss, Mr Ferrari interrupted the smiling Tory Brexiteer to ask if he was planning on making a "serious point".
Mr Rees-Mogg shot back: "What made you think that's not a serious answer?"
Ferrari replied: "Because of the smile on your face?"
It's going to be a long April Fool's day.
Behind the headline polling numbers Boris Johnson's path to a Commons majority is rockier than it looks.
Pro-EU campaigners have assembled in the heart of Westminster to declare that one of their biggest no-deal Brexit fears is a load of rubbish.
The Tories accepted almost £4m in cash from anonymous donor groups while Theresa May was leader, Total Politics can reveal.
Conservative Campaign Headquarters have spent an eye-watering £25,000 on Facebook ads targeting people who are afraid of rising crime in their neighbourhoods.