Jacob Rees-Mogg has issued a stark warning to the Tories that “divided parties lose elections”. The North East Somerset MP, who recently returned to the backbenches, said the Conservatives need to get behind Rishi Sunak if they want to stay in power.
Mr Rees-Mogg’s comments come as the Prime Minister, who took the keys to No 10 last month, is facing rebellions from Conservative MPs over housebuilding and wind farms.
But Mr Rees-Mogg warned fellow Tory MPs they risk losing the next general election.
Speaking on Conservative Home’s The Moggcast, he said: “I think if the Conservative Party wants to win the next election we have to support out current leader.
“And we therefore have to vote for what he puts in front of us unless it is something that singularly disadvantages one’s own constituency.
“So if North East Somerset were to be turned into a car park for Bath that would be different.
“Or is a major constitutional importance if the Prime Minister suddenly decided that he wanted to resurrect David Cameron’s reform of the House of Lords, I think unlikely.
“I’m concerned that people are voting on things that are against the Government that are on the routine business of Government.
“And I think one owes the party leadership support on the routine business of Government.
“And people need to remember from 1997 that people thought by showing how independent-minded they were they would help themselves in their own constituencies. If anything they did slightly worse than slightly better.
“You don’t help your own seat by making life difficult for the Government, you just make it more difficult for everybody. So I think these rebellions are ill-advised.”
In a tweet, Mr Rees-Mogg added: “Divided parties lose elections.”
Mr Rees-Mogg’s comments come as Mr Sunak could U-turn on a ban on new onshore wind farms.
Former prime ministers Boris Johnson and Liz Truss are among 30 Conservatives backing former levelling-up secretary Simon Clarke’s pro-wind amendment to the Levelling Up Bill.
And last week Mr Sunak was forced by Tory rebels to delay planning reforms in a blow to his authority.
The Prime Minister pulled a vote on legislation that would set a target of building 300,000 homes per year when dozens of Conservative MPs threatened to rebel.