Jacob Rees-Mogg has publicly backed Boris Johnson to remain prime minister, saying he is "a big man who is willing to apologise" for his mistakes.
The Brexit opportunities minister's comments come after the prime minister was hit with resignations from chancellor Rishi Sunak and health secretary Sajid Javid.
While appearing on Sky News, Rees-Mogg was asked whether Johnson will be prime minister by the end of the year. He replied: "I'm going for Robert Walpole. Walpole did 21 years, and I'd like to see the Prime Minister do better than Walpole."
He also said the prime minister's mood is “business as usual, he has got a job to do”, playing down the new party crisis and suggesting that “losing chancellors is something that happens”.
\u201cBeth Rigby - Do you think Boris Johnson will be Prime Minister by the end of the year? \n\nJacob Rees-Mogg - "I'm going for Robert Walpole(PM 1725\u201342)... Walpole did 21 years... & I'd like to see the Prime Minister do better than Walpole" \ud83d\udc40\u201d
Speaking after the resignation of the chancellor and the health secretary, Rees-Mogg told the outlet that to suggest such actions should lead to the resignation of the prime minister was an “18th-century” view of cabinet government.
He said that the prime minister appoints cabinet ministers and is “not someone who is brought down by cabinet ministers”.
“He relies on being able to command a majority in the House of Commons. That is different,” he said.
“The prime minister is winning votes in the House of Commons, and that is fundamental,” he said.
On Sunak’s resignation, he appeared to suggest it was unrelated to the recent controversy: “I think a Government works best when it has a Chancellor and a Prime Minister who work hand in glove.”
He said it appeared to be “fraying at the edges”.
He added: “The Prime Minister won a large mandate in a general election, a vote of the British people, and that should not be taken away from him because a number of people resign.”
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