The world’s most unlikely sex symbol: New book reveals how Jacob Rees-Mogg asked a chick lit author to marry him, ditched a girlfriend because she was a divorcee then wed an heiress with a silver tongue stud.

First published in the Mail on Sunday on 08 September 2019.

A new biography has revealed the unlikely sex symbol of Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Despite his controversial stances Rees-Mogg attracts admiration from his rivals.

Happily married for 13 years the Conservative now has a family of six children. (more…)

See the September issue of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery article

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has had his latest “hero of the month” article published in Britain at War, the country’s best-selling military history monthly magazine.

The September issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Lance-Corporal of Horse Christopher Finney, who was just eighteen years old when he took part in a dramatic battlefield action for which he would become the youngest serviceman to receive the George Cross (GC). (more…)

An open letter to International Development Secretary Alok Sharma

Dear Alok

Congratulations on your richly deserved elevation to the cabinet. The job of International Development secretary is always a challenge for a Conservative politician, given our desire for fiscal responsibility and understandable scepticism among party members over the sanity of fixing aid spending as a proportion of national income rather than determined by need. The struggle must be especially acute for someone who was trained in accountancy.

As you have no doubt already discovered, the Department for International Development seems to see itself as closer to the charity sector that it funds so lavishly then to the rest of Whitehall, which can only look with envy at the department’s constantly-rising budgets. Even as Tory prime ministers oversaw the imposition of austerity policies in Britain, Dfid’s budget doubled in a decade to more than £14bn. Little wonder there is such public concern, since this is more than we spend on our hard-pressed police forces in England and Wales as they grapple with issues such as gang violence, knife crime and cyber-theft.

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JACOB’S LADDER – New book by Michael Ashcroft

Jacob's Ladder - The Unauthorised Biography of Jacob Rees-MoggPublication Date: 10 September 2019.
Price: £20 hardback.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the new Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council, is one of the most prominent and controversial figures in contemporary British politics. He is a man who divides opinion in his own party, in Parliament and across the country. (more…)

Proof human kindness can overcome the hatred of war

First published in the Mail on Sunday on 11 August 2019.

The bravery of a hero British First World War soldier and how a GERMAN general answered his parents’ plea to find their missing son.

 

  • British captain Kilby was so brave he fought on even after his foot was blown off  
  • Kilby went missing and his parents undertook a desperate search to locate him
  • They were assisted in their task by none other than a German army officer  
  • Letters show how the German general answered Kilby’s parents pleas to find him

Today, the tow-path alongside La Bassee canal in northern France is a haven of peace and tranquillity. (more…)

See the August issue of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery article

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has had his latest “hero of the month” article published in Britain at War, the country’s best-selling military history monthly magazine.

The August issue of magazine has four pages on the life and career of Temporary Captain Henry John Andrews VC, MBE. Andrews was the recipient of a rare inter-war VC for bravery – there were, in fact, 11 such actions between November 1918 and September 1939. (more…)

My Scotland poll: Yes to independence takes the lead

In the wake of Boris Johnson’s visit to Edinburgh last week I polled Scots to measure support for a second independence referendum and to gauge opinion on independence itself. I found a small majority in favour of a new vote – and the first lead for an independent Scotland for more than two years.

I found 47% agreeing that there should be another referendum on Scottish independence within the next two years (First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has demanded a new vote by 2021), with 45% disagreeing.

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Will voters still give Boris the benefit of the doubt? We’re about to find out

Six years ago, I published some research entirely dedicated to the Boris Johnson phenomenon. The title of the report – Are You Serious? – encapsulated two things: the reaction of Boris-sceptics to the idea that he might rise to an office greater than the London Mayoralty, and the question many voters, intrigued but not altogether convinced by this unusual adornment to public life, were asking of Boris himself.

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More woe for St Helena. New figures reveal that its airport has failed to bring an influx of visitors

First published on ConservativeHome.com on 22 July 2019.

The number of visitors to St Helena, the remote British Overseas Territory in the middle of the South Atlantic, remains worryingly low, despite widespread hopes that the island’s new airport would bring economic prosperity. Newly-released figures have revealed that, during the first six months of 2019, there were only 2,807 “passenger arrivals” to the island compared with 2,034 in the first six months of 2014. (more…)

My choice for the next PM

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Like most Conservatives, I wanted Brexit wrapped up and out of the way under Theresa May’s stewardship, allowing a new leader to begin a new chapter, reinvigorate the party and – at long last – change the subject.

So much for that. Far from drawing a line under the unhappy recent history of British politics, the new Prime Minister will face exactly the same problem as his predecessor. He will also face the same parliamentary maths and apparently, despite the personnel changes in Brussels, the same stance from the EU. The first question on the minds of many Conservative Party members as they ponder over their ballot papers, then, will be who is finally going to get Brexit signed, sealed and delivered.

Read more …

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