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Johnny Rotten backs Jacob Rees-Mogg to be the next Prime Minister

Johnny Rotten has said he backs Jacob Rees-Mogg for prime minister (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Johnny Rotten has said he backs Jacob Rees-Mogg for prime minister (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Former Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten has backed Jacob Rees-Mogg to be the next Prime Minister as the Tory leadership contest gets under way unofficially.

Speaking on TalkTV’s Piers Morgan Uncensored, Rotten, whose real name is John Lydon, said he loves the Brexit Opportunities Minister’s “World War Two respect, put Britain first attitude”.

Rees-Mogg later responded to the endorsement saying he was “honoured” even if the punk singer made the comment jokingly.

During an interview with Morgan on his TalkTV show, the pair discussed potential contenders to claim the Tory crown following the dramatic resignation of Boris Johnson.

The presenter asked: “Would you vote for me?” to which Lydon responded by laughing before admitting: “I probably would, but you’d know who I’d like even more, and I know this is like way out and he’s probably not even in the running, is Rees-Mogg.”

After Morgan incredulously asked “Really?”, Lydon continued: “Yeah really, I love that World War Two respect, put Britain first attitude he has.

“And in every interview I’ve ever seen him do, he has been on the floor with his humour.

“And I think he’s just genuinely a nice person.”

Morgan noted that he feels there has been a “dramatic reduction in basic manners and civility” in public and in politics but that when he met Rees-Mogg, recently, he found him to be a “very charming, polite guy”.

Downing Street partygate
Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg has not entered the unofficial contest to succeed Boris Johnson (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

He added: “I don’t agree with a lot of his politics but he certainly understands how to be respectful and to have respectful discourse.”

The singer replied: “You don’t have to, because he has civility and that makes him interesting, and it makes debate and conversation interesting.

“And there’s just too much of this nonsense running now.”

Rees-Mogg responded to a clip of the interview shared on Twitter, writing: “Even if my leg is being pulled I am honoured by this exceptionally kind endorsement by Mr Lydon, alias Johnny Rotten.”

Johnson’s resignation on Thursday after haemorrhaging support among his ministers and MPs fired the starting gun on a contest to replace him.

Since the announcement, attention has turned to potential successors with a number of Conservative MPs already putting their bids in.