Acting Prime Minister: Mark Francois on losing his dad, his pre-Brexit epiphany and his controversial cut-throat gesture
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The first guest to take power in the new series of the ITV News podcast Acting Prime Minister is Mark Francois.
As European Research Group deputy chairman, the Tory MP's profile has rocketed in recent years amid the ongoing Brexit drama.
So it was inevitable that his conversation with ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand would focus on the latest plot twists, as Mr Francois exclusively revealed the ERG would reject Boris Johnson's revised Brexit deal despite the prime minister's pledge to remove the controversial Northern Irish backstop.
However, the 54-year-old MP for Rayleigh and Wickford in Essex was happy to go 'off topic' and discuss his life before and outside politics, while also outlining his vision for the country if he gained the keys to Number 10.
Watch above or listen to the full episode to hear:
How suffering the tragedy of losing his father as a teenager has shaped him
The moment he had his "Eurosceptic epiphany" after a marathon session in Parliament
His trade-deal inspired plan for getting Brexit through Parliament
Why Philip Hammond needs to re-read the Magna Carta
How his experience at a "bog standard comprehensive" would make education his biggest domestic priority
The recent voicemail proposal of marriage which reinforced his mission to "take on the establishment"
How entering Parliament as a working class MP is like moving schools
The reason he still stands by the controversial cut-throat gesture he made towards Theresa May in the Commons
The campaign group he would secretly love to silence
And why he's a "proud man from Essex" - not an Essex man
Acting Prime Minister has put guests ranging from Jacob Rees-Mogg and Jess Phillips to Ben Fogle and Bobby Norris in power and asked the question: "What would you do now?"
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Catch up with past episodes of Acting Prime Minister:
Anna Soubry opens up on pain of Umunna split and why Boris 'isn't fit to clean loos'
'Boris Johnson should have backed up ambassador' says Nicky Morgan as Acting PM
Stella Creasy overhauls 'Hogwarts gone wrong' Parliament and ditches manifestos
Labour's David Lammy justifies comparing Tory Brexiters to Nazis and defends Comic Relief 'white saviours' criticism
Justine Greening on her bid to be Tory leader and calling Mark Zuckerberg
Jacob Rees-Mogg backs Boris Johnson while outlining his own vision for the nation
Why Ben Fogle would scrap exams and reintroduce national service
Heidi Allen is 'too emotional' to be PM but wants Nick Clegg on her team
Campaigning mum Hannah Deacon tackles medicinal cannabis in Number 10
Sarah Champion on prostitution, pushing the nuclear button and Tinder dating
Ben Bradley on exam obsession, getting kicked out of school and forgiving his digital past