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Acting Prime Minister: Jacob Rees-Mogg backs Boris Johnson while outlining his own vision for the nation

In the latest episode of our podcast Acting Prime Minister, ITV News gives leading Brexiter Jacob Rees-Mogg the hypothetical keys to Number 10 and asks him: What would you do?

As the influential chairman of the European Research Group, the backbench Tory MP has emerged as one of the key players in the Brexit process and been touted by some for the top job in British politics.

Playing down his prime ministerial ambitions, Rees-Mogg hints heavily that he will be endorsing Boris Johnson in the forthcoming Conservative leadership contest:

"I have a very high opinion of Boris Johnson...but the competition hasn't yet started, so it's sensible to wait until it does", he said.

Refusing to rule out a shot at the top job in a later contest, Rees-Mogg indulges ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand and sets out his vision for his theoretical premiership.

It's no surprise that exiting the European Union is his main aim in office - but Rees-Mogg explains why housing and changes to the tax system would be among his first priorities, along with making a "key call" to Donald Trump via the "remarkably helpful" Downing Street switchboard.

The North East Somerset MP delights in picking his fantasy cabinet - with a strong emphasis on past politicians over the present - though there's a place for those opposed to Britain's EU exit as he names the pro-Remain Tories who impress him most.

Jacob Rees-Mogg discussed privilege, his religious views and social media during his conversation with Paul Brand. Credit: ITV News

The privately-educated 49 year old discusses why he considers himself "enormously lucky" in life, while projecting his vision for a nation "where everybody can be better off", asking: "Why can't we have every school in the country that teaches as well as Eton?"

Brand puts Rees-Mogg's strict Catholic personal opinions to the test, asking would the acting PM repeal laws to bring the country into line with his views on abortion, same-sex marriage and religion?

He also addresses his relationship with social media and how he feels about people with extreme views being attracted to him, before explaining why he is more likely to engage with users on Instagram than Twitter.

Finally he runs the gauntlet of the quick-fire Acting PM test, prompting far more deliberation over the pet he would get for his daughter in Number 10 than whether or not he would press the nuclear button.

You can watch Acting Prime Minister being filmed live at the Podcast Live politics event on April 7.

For more info, visit https://bit.ly/2HrEoK6. Listeners can get a 10% discount with the code ITVNEWS10.

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