Jacob Rees-Mogg is one of the most recognisable political figures of the day. The Conservative MP for North East Somerset and now Leader of the House of Commons has often made the headlines – particularly during the last three years of Brexit. The Brexiteer’s rise to power has been well-documented in the British press, but so have his less dignified moments.
In 2019 book ‘Jacob’s Ladder: The Unauthorised Biography of Jacob Rees-Mogg’, author Michael Ashcroft recalls the time the Conservative MP spent studying History at Trinity College, Oxford.
After gaining entry in 1988, Mr Rees-Mogg quickly became a recognised face around the Oxford Union, taking part in many debates.
However, his popularity did not mean he was well-liked by his peers.
After only a couple of months, he was nominated for the title of ‘Pushy Fresher’ by the independent student newspaper Cherwell.
His nomination announcement included a photo of him giving a speech, accompanied simply by the caption: “What more need we say?”
Describing the aim of the award, the former editor of the student newspaper Michael Crick wrote for The Independent in 2000: “During the late Seventies, while editor of the Oxford University newspaper Cherwell, I initiated a Pushy Fresher award.
“Every October there were invariably a few first-year undergraduates who loudly declared their ambition to take over every student institution.
“Cherwell’s contest, we hoped, might bring these obnoxious, arrogant upstarts down a peg or two.
“The feature ran for many years, and winners later included the BBC political correspondent Nick Robinson and the convicted fraudster Darius Guppy.”
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