back to top

Everyone Took The Piss Out Of Jacob Rees-Mogg At University

Even aged 18 the future Conservative MP was a figure of fascination for his fellow students. He appears to have played up to the persona and it didn't hold him back.

Posted on

Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg is one of the most astonishing politicians to grace the House of Commons – and one of the greatest throwbacks in British political life.

The Old Etonian investment banker is the son of a former Times editor who became a Conservative peer, before himself becoming a politician.

At the age of 12, the younger Rees-Mogg was photographed reading the Financial Times before addressing the annual meeting of a company he held shares in. Then, shortly after leaving university, he gained notoriety for campaigning for the Conservatives in the Scottish seat of Central Fife with his nanny while driving a Mercedes.

Since joining the House of Commons in 2010 as the Conservative MP for North East Somerset, Rees-Mogg has earned a begrudging respect from all sides, playing up to his public persona and going out campaigning with his young son in matching suits.

Student newspaper reports of Rees-Mogg's time at Oxford University in the late 1980s and early 1990s reveal that the would-be MP was already a figure of fun at the age of 18.

BuzzFeed News had a look in the archives.


The report, written in Rees-Mogg's first few weeks at university, claims he is "aiming for success in OUCA" – the Oxford University Conservative Association – by obtaining a definitive list of those who are interested in the organisation in order to gain an advantage over other rivals for elected positions.

In common with everything ever written by sniping students aiming to undermine one of their classmates, it is probably worth taking all of this with a pinch of salt.


The piece, written by future Labour MP Margaret "Meg" Hillier, reports on an unsuccessful attempt by a student called Yvette Cooper to ban "expensive and uncomfortable" formal clothing from the university because it puts off applicants from state schools.

Rees-Mogg is quoted as suggesting students should instead be encouraged to wear a "full morning suit". He goes on to say that the mortarboard is a key part of student dress: "I do so like to cycle around Oxford with it on."


Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.