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Legendary Welsh photographer recalls encounter with young Jacob Rees-Mogg

08 Sep 2022 2 minute read
The young Jacob Rees-Mogg (Credit: Chalkie Davies) / Jacob Rees-Mogg (Credit: PA)

He’s one of the most divisive characters in UK politics – a figure of fun for the left, a revered totem for the right.

To many however he is the epitome of Tory class rule, an establishment throwback to a time when a colonial Britannia ruled the waves.

However, it appears the poshest MP in government, Jacob Rees-Mogg, hasn’t actually changed that much since his childhood.

Mogg was this week named Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy Secretary in Prime Minister Liz Truss’ cabinet.

For a man lampooned for his singular sartorial choices, photographs unearthed by Welsh photographer Chalkie Davies show that he even as a youngster he preferred a uniform of straight-laced conformity.

In a post on his Facebook page, Chalkie, who has photographed some of the biggest names in rock ‘n’ roll and is acknowledged as one of the world’s greatest photographers, recounted the story of an unorthodox photoshoot with the young Mogg and his father, the late former Times editor William Rees-Mogg.

The slides from Chalkie Davies’ photoshoot with Jacob Rees-Mogg and William Rees-Mogg (Credit: Chalkie Davies)

Sully-born Chalkie has allowed us to retell the tale of that meeting from 40 years ago – an encounter that has stayed with him ever since.

“Forty years ago, in 1982, Pete Townshend took me along to a lunch at the Times about promoting photography, hosted by the gentleman on the right, William Rees Mogg, the Editor of the Times,” remembers the photographer, who ended up being asked to photograph the father and son.

“His son, the little boy on the left was thirteen and heralded as a financial wizard, but he certainly had no magic wand. He was obnoxious, odious, patronising, and spoke down to his father. Not long after this photograph was taken, his Nanny took him for walkies.

“He was thirteen, but just look at the way he is dressed, and the way he looks at the camera. This boy is now Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy Secretary in her Majesty’s Government.

“I blew up the contact sheet, he only approved the one frame, his father then approved the same one. They lived only a stones throw from Parliament.

“Funny how photos reappear now and then.”


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Y Cymro
Y Cymro
22 days ago

These pictures should come with a heath warning. I think the Rees-Mogs are not born but sef-replicate like a virus to produce a perfect copy of themselves ready to antagonise & annoy the populous.

DAI Ponty
DAI Ponty
22 days ago

He is a bloody freak with very very strange ideas he stated on B B C question time that he is a Roman Catholic that if a women is raped she should not have an abortion as that is his believe as he is supposed deeply religous

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
21 days ago

“He was obnoxious, odious, patronising, and spoke down to his father.”

Start as you mean to go on then.

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