Why PM Boris Johnson should appoint Jacob Rees-Mogg as Chancellor – Bernard Ingham

MY text this week is taken from Psalm 121 – “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord...” . I commend it to Boris Johnson, assuming he is the next Prime Minister, and the Tory Party.

This is where their real troubles begin, not end. They face one simple question: are you going to buckle to and start governing or continue to indulge yourselves?

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If you have any responsibility left in you, bearing in mind the awful threat from Jeremy Corbyn and his Marxist crew, you had better show you have decided to turn over a new leaf.

Will Boris Johnson, the former Foreign Secretary, win the keys to 10 Downing Street?

We shall know when Johnson is formally installed in No 10 and starts Cabinet-making. Will Remainers take their bats home or signal they are abandoning their quest to keep us in European Union subjection?

If the party remains manifestly split on Europe, Johnson really will require divine intervention to win through

It is no surprise that Johnson is way ahead in MPs’ voting and his bandwagon will surely roll when the rank and file come to ballot.

Should Jacob Rees-Mogg become Chancellor of the Exchequer?

He is the only candidate likely to be popular, inspiring and determined to get us out of the EU by Halloween.

That is what the people clearly want after three years of Theresa May’s colourless executive striving.

They are less censorious about Johnson’s waywardness than many hypocritical politicians.

People do not look for Papal purity in their politicians – they know they are only human – but just leadership and competent administration.

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is leading the race to be the next Prime Minister.

Let us assume then that the Tory Party is of humble and contrite heart over the EU, and is prepared constructively to work us out of the clutches of Brussels and start tackling Britain’s many problems.

What does Johnson need to do first, apart from present an ultimatum to 
the EU?

Without doubt, the answer is to demonstrate that he is not as wet 
socially and economically as Old Etonians usually are.

My major worry about Johnson is not that he will fudge Brexit but that he is so infected with a form of elitist guilt over the good fortune of his birth that he is too soft to run a tight ship economically.

Would Boris Johnson make a good Prime Minister?

I never thought I would warm to Philip Hammond, our current Chancellor, because of his obstruction of Brexit.

But he is dead right in worrying about whether the next Tory government will bear down on our accumulating debt. Mrs May leaves a legacy of vast spending pledges.

For this reason Johnson could do worse than make Jacob Rees-Mogg his next Chancellor.

Rees-Mogg may be privileged, too, but he knows how to handle brass – he has made a pile for himself – and should be told to go and do likewise for Britain.

If he is preferred to Liz Truss, she should remain as Treasury Chief Secretary because she has her head screwed on the right way for the Minister responsible for controlling public expenditure.

Johnson’s next problem is who should nominally be his deputy. Every Prime Minister needs someone to clear up after him – e.g. Lord Whitelaw who served Margaret Thatcher so well.

It must be a strong Brexiteer. I would go for the redoubtable Andrea Leadsom, current leader of the Commons.

If he chooses Mrs Leadsom, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox QC should be Minister for Justice and Lord Chancellor in place of the wet David Gauke.

I would keep Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Home Secretary Sajid Javid where they are, assuming they would serve.

Johnson needs a calm, cool, collected Foreign Secretary to hose down the Europhile Foreign Office that never took to him.

I suppose Dominic Raab will return to his old job of Brexit Secretary. It is no more than the EU deserves. Esther McVey might usefully take her working-class background back to Work and Pensions where she served before resigning, with Raab, over Brexit last November.

That leaves two questions: how many Remainers should Boris retain, given 
the need to heal, and what to do with Michael Gove.

Able but treacherous, I am fed up of Gove’s expensive and economically dangerous pandering as Environment Secretary to the global warming lobby.

Given I haven’t a clue what our industrial strategy is, he might usefully go to Industry or become Lord President and Leader of the Commons.

For the rest Johnson needs a Cabinet 
of competent, diligent Ministers 
with a backbone and political nous if it is to succeed.

Above all, he needs to demonstrate he means business. We have messed about with the EU for too long for our own good. May the Good Lord guide and keep him in the ways of the wise.