Official portrait of Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg
Official portrait of Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg

Jacob Rees-Mogg, Conservative MP for North East Somerset, visited the University of Birmingham on 9 March to talk about what conservatism is, as well as the importance of free speech.

He then went on to take challenging questions from a student audience which included a number from POLSIS. Topics ranged from foreign policy to Conservative welfare policy.

POLSIS student Luke Caldecott, who chaired the discussion commented:

“It was excellent to see a wide range of discussion points brought up as well as students from across the political spectrum challenging Mr Rees-Mogg. Mr Rees-Mogg himself praised the protesters outside for exercising their right to free speech but said those most commendable are those who turn up to the event to challenge his views, which was great to both hear from him and see from the event’s interest.”

Head of Department, Tim Haughton, who attended the talk noted that, 'universities, and especially politics departments, should be fora where a wide range of views on the big issues of the day are discussed. We welcome all MPs from across the political spectrum to come to the department to discuss current issues with our students.'  

Image attribution: Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons