A 12-year-old Jacob Rees-Mogg once tried to 'sue' the BBC for £18

Greg Evans
Friday 27 April 2018 12:30
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Conservative backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg once 'sued' the BBC for failing to pay him for an interview, when he was just 12-years-old.

When he was just a boy, the MP for North East Somerset appeared as a "schoolboy financier" on Radio 4's Today Programme, but after they failed to pay him he took matters into his own hands.

Now, we might not agree with everything that Rees-Mogg has ever done, but everyone deserves to be paid for their work - and just like any good freelancer, he sent an angry letter.

Trying to retrieve the £18 the Beeb owed him, Rees-Mogg penned a letter demanding the money, otherwise he would sue to the corporation.

In a clipping unearthed by News UK Archives from a 1981 article by the Evening Standard, Rees Mogg wrote:

Dear Today Programme, you are in debt of £18 which was payable as from 13/9/81. 

I have no idea what your excuse is but I will not accept it. If it is not received by the 10/11/81 which is nearly two months.

I shall increase it to £36. If still not received within ten days I shall take legal advice. 

I hope it does not come to that for I have no desire to prosecute the BBC.

The article, which can be seen below also comes complete with a fantastic picture of the young Rees-Mogg, arms folded, wearing a trench coat and fetching monocle.

A monocle! He was 12! Surely this was a gag?

Other amusing snippets from the article included that the Financial Times had been his favourite newspaper since the age of two and that he invested his profits into buying antiques.

Given that there are no stories about him ever successfully suing the BBC, we can only presume that he got the money he was owed.

Incidentally, his father Sir William Rees-Mogg was a member of the BBC's Board of Governors, which may have helped him eventually get the cheque.

Speaking to The Sun, Rees-Mogg commented on that particular letter and what he may have spent the money on.

The errors of my misspent youth…

I think I would have saved it rather than spent it.​

HT News UK Archives

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