What’s in a name? Plenty, according to David Cameron.The splendidly-monickered Annunziata Rees-Mogg has been barred from standing as an MP for the Tories.
Why? Well, it seems Call Me Dave is worried about how her posh double-barrelled name might be perceived by voters.
So she’s been excluded from the Conservatives’ new list of approved parliamentary candidates finalised by high command – just 12 months after she was the high-profile Tory candidate in a key target seat at the General Election.
Call Me Dave was so concerned about public reaction that he had apparently put pressure on her to shorten her name to something rather plainer.
‘Wouldn’t it be easier all round if you shortened it to Nancy Mogg?’ he reportedly said.
But Annunziata, the privately-educated daughter of former Times editor Lord Rees-Mogg, refused point blank.
Good on her. Does our prime minister really think that we’re all so obsessed with what people are called that it affects the way we vote? Clearly, he does.
Although he is pains never to mention it, isn’t he an Eton-educated toff himself? Didn’t stop us propelling him into No 10, did it?
What is so self-defeating about all of this is that Annunziata/Nancy came within 1,900 votes of unseating Liberal Democrat MP David Heath in the Somerset constituency of Somerton and Frome. People like her and are happy to vote for her.
Yet, despite re-applying to be on the Tory candidates list after the Election, she now learns she has been rejected.
Call Me Dave must be confident if he can afford to leave able would-be politicians out of his team just because they might be perceived as posh– even if Ms Rees-Mogg is a known Euro-sceptic whose views might be somewhat at odds with his own.
Perhaps he’s scared stiff that she might have actually beaten Mr Heath, who is now a minister in the coalition government. Or is it to do with getting rid of Tory candidates with right-wing views merely to appease the Lib Dems with whom he now has to share power?