Jacob Rees-Mogg

From SkepticalVoter
Jump to: navigation, search

Jacob Rees-Mogg is the Conservative MP for North East Somerset. He entered Parliament at the 2010 general election, when the seat was created.

Same-sex Marriage/Catholic Faith

On February 3rd 2013, Mr Rees-Mogg appeared on BBC Radio 4's "Westminster Hour" programme. Asked about what sort of pressure Conservative MPs were under from their associations in the run-up to the vote on same-sex marriage legislation, he said:

"Well, I'm not under any pressure. I'm a Roman Catholic, and have made it clear to my association, from very early on, that in this sort of matter I would take my whip from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, rather than from the Government's whip's office."[1]

Mr Rees-Mogg voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in February 2013[2] and May 2013[3].


At a local hustings debate held in Midsomer Norton Town Hall, Mr Rees-Mogg stated that he was against the principle of abortions.

Mr Rees-Mogg voted for Nadine Dorries’s amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill on 7 September 2011, which was ultimately defeated by 368 to 118 votes. This amendment would have stopped BPAS and Marie Stopes from providing counselling for women with unwanted pregnancies and allowed ‘independent’ counselling including that provided by faith-based organisations.[4]

Sex Education

In May 2011 Mr Rees-Mogg voted in favour of Nadine Dorries' Sex Education (Required Content) "10 minute" Bill[5]. The Bill stated that "such education must include information and advice on the benefits of abstinence from sexual activity"[6]. It was criticised for only applying to sex education for girls, not boys, with critics also pointing to evidence that abstinence-only sex education (which does not necessarily lead to abstinence itself) does not protect young people from unwanted pregnancies or STIs[7] (although this was not a bill advocating abstinence-only sex education, it would have meant that the only required elements of sex education would be basic information on reproduction[8], plus this new content on abstinence, with further content being up to the individual school)[9]. The Bill passed its first reading by 67 votes to 61, but had little chance of becoming law and was withdrawn in January 2012 shortly before its second reading[10].

Climate Change

From an October 2013 article by Mr Rees-Mogg in which he talks about energy price rises:

"The reason this has been done is, of course, because of climate change fears. But is it a reasonable or proportionate response? It is widely accepted that carbon dioxide emissions have risen but the effect on the climate remains much debated while the computer modelling that has been done to date has not proved especially accurate. Sceptics remember that computer modelling was behind the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the global financial crisis; common sense dictates that if the Meteorological Office cannot forecast the next season’s weather with any success it is ambitious to predict what will happen decades ahead. However, even if all their fears are right the influence of the United Kingdom is limited. This country is responsible for under 2 per cent of global emissions so even if the British freeze and industry is made uncompetitive it will not save the world."[11]


Alternative medicine

Mr Rees-Mogg stated that he does not have strong views on the funding of alternative therapies on the NHS.[12]

Mitochondrial Donation

Mitochondrial donation or mitochondrial transfer (or, in newspaper headlines, "three-parent babies") covers a number of related medical procedures carried out as part of IVF to allow women who carry mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children whose cells contain mitochondria from a donor and hence would not inherit the disease. Some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[13].

In March 2014, Mr Rees-Mogg called a Westminster Hall debate on the subject of Mitochondrial Transfer[14][15]. During the debate he stated that what was being proposed was "eugenic"[16]. He also described the religious concerns about the procedure, quoting Pope Benedict and Thomas Aquinas and saying "tampering with embryos is tampering with human souls — tampering with what sets us apart from animals"[17].

He was subsequently one of the MPs to support the September 2014 debate on Mitochondrial Replacement (Public Safety)[18]. The full debate, including Mr Rees-Mogg's contributions, can be read at: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2014-09-01a.93.0 or http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm140901/debtext/140901-0003.htm#column_93

Mr Rees-Mogg subsequently voted against allowing mitochondrial donation in February 2015[19]. If allowed, mitochondrial donation would be regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) meaning that there would be ongoing assessment of the safety and efficacy of such procedures. An October 2014 briefing report by the HFEA, which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe[20].The majority of MPs voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation.


Faith Schools

Mr Rees-Mogg agrees with faith schools, and for morning worship as part of an assembly.[12]


Blasphemy law

Mr Rees-Mogg believes that "ridicule is not serious enough to legislate against".[12]

Libel Law Reform

Mr Rees-Mogg supports the cause for libel reform in England and Wales.[12]

House of Lords

Whilst Mr Rees-Mogg supports a full reform of the House of Lords, he feels that whilst the current system is in place he is in favour of Anglican bishops being there.[12]

Sharia Law

"Sharia Law ought not to be part of the formal U.K. legal system".[12]

Policy making

Mr Rees-Mogg wrote that "advisers advise and ministers decide", and that politicians must balance the evidence and make an accountable decision.[12]


Teaching of creationism

Mr Rees-Mogg believes that "it is probably better to teach faith based views such as creationism in Sunday schools to people who want to attend them rather than in the ordinary course of events".[12]


"Opt out" adult filtering

When questioned about his stance on a consultation exploring whether ISPs should enable content filtering by default (and customers have to request to opt out of the filter) Mr Rees-Mogg replied that in his opinion "parents, not the state or internet service providers, are responsible for managing their children's use of the internet".[21]

The Geek Manifesto

In June 2013 Mr Rees-Mogg was asked if he had read the copy of Mark Henderson's book The Geek Manifesto that he had been sent. In his written response he stated "I have looked at the book and much enjoyed reading about such an important subject".[22]


  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p014m99r
  2. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=Jacob_Rees-Mogg
  3. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=Jacob_Rees-Mogg
  4. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110907/debtext/110907-0002.htm#110907-0002.htm_div339
  5. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110504/debtext/110504-0001.htm#stpa_o51
  6. http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2010-12/sexeducationrequiredcontent.html
  7. http://www.thetwentyfirstfloor.com/?p=2325
  8. http://www.drpetra.co.uk/blog/what-do-we-want-from-sex-and-relationships-education/
  9. http://educationforchoice.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/abstain-from-abstinence-please-dorries.html
  10. http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/jan/20/nadine-dorries-sexual-abstinence-bill-withdrawn
  11. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/10398635/Climate-change-alarmism-caused-our-high-energy-prices.html
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 E-mail exchange with a constituent
  13. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31063500
  14. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm140312/halltext/140312h0002.htm#column_164WH
  15. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2014-03-12a.164.0
  16. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm140312/halltext/140312h0002.htm#140312h0002.htm_spnew37
  17. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm140312/halltext/140312h0002.htm#column_167WH
  18. http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/backbench-business-committee/news/mps-debate-mitochondrial-replacement-techniques/
  19. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=Jacob_Rees-Mogg
  20. http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2014-10-01_Mitochondrial_donation__an_introductory_briefing_note_-_final.pdf
  21. Written response (by letter) to a constituent
  22. https://twitter.com/DrBillyo/status/360695813258756096/photo/1

External Links

(Note: @JakeReesMogg Twitter account is a parody.)

Why not help us expand this page with more details of this politician's positions on skeptical issues?

  • E-Mail them to ask for their opinions (and tell us about it by editing this page!)
  • Check their voting record and other information at the External Links listed above.
  • Search the media for mentions of them and their positions on issues.
  • Use your own brilliant ideas - but make sure you can back them up with a citation!