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Dublin: 6 °C Monday 25 May, 2020

Jacob Rees-Mogg's staff told to use 'Esquire' and 'Imperial measurements' in bizarre style guide

The two-page guide was leaked to ITV News.

Rees-Mogg leaves 10 Downing Street earlier this week.
Rees-Mogg leaves 10 Downing Street earlier this week.
Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

STAFF WORKING FOR Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Conservative MP promoted to the British cabinet this week by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have been given a style guide insisting all correspondence uses imperial measurements.

Employees in his new department have also been ordered to refer to “non-titled males” as esquire — using the abbreviation “Esq.” after names — according to the two-page guide, leaked to ITV News.

Rees-Mogg, dubbed “the MP for the 18th century” for his love of formality and tradition, was on Wednesday made Leader of the House of Commons, responsible for arranging British government business.

Staff now working for the arch-Brexiteer in that office were promptly told to adhere to his traditional manners, with various words banned from office letters and emails, such as “got”, “very” or “equal”.

Political buzzwords and cliches that appear to irk Rees-Mogg and have also been outlawed include “ascertain”, “speculate” and “no longer fit for purpose”.

“Use imperial measurements,” the memo ordered, with the word “imperial” emboldened.

A source with knowledge of the document told AFP it was “old” and had not been created especially for those in his office.

Tweet by @ITV News Source: ITV News/Twitter

“It was done some years ago by his constituency staff… on his behalf,” the source said. “These kinds of things can be useful.”

Rees-Mogg, who represents a rural part of southwest England, has risen to prominence in the Brexit era with his strident brand of euroscepticism.

He leads the eurosceptic European Research Group (ERG) of Tory MPs which spearheaded the opposition to ex-prime minister Theresa May’s European Union divorce deal.

That was defeated in the House of Commons on three occasions, thanks in large part to the ERG’s dozens of members.

Rees-Mogg also helped lead a failed bid to unseat May in December, which she survived at the time, only to be forced to resign months later.

© – AFP 2019

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