Jacob Rees-Mogg says Boris Johnson should stay PM as he is ‘a big man who is willing to apologise’

Brexit Opportunities minister says prime minister ‘made a minor mistake’

Jacob Rees-Mogg believes Boris Johnson will be prime minister for 20 years

Jacob Rees-Mogg has backed Boris Johnson to remain prime minister, claiming that he is "a big man who is willing to apologise" for his mistakes.

The Brexit opportunities minister took to the airwaves on Tuesday evening describing the prime minister's actions a "a minor mistake".

It comes after the Cabinet and front bench was hit by a slew of resignations including chancellor Rishi Sunak and health secretary Sajid Javid.

The prime minister has faced criticism over his handling of the Chris Pincher affair and whether he lied about what he knew of the MP's behaviour.

Mr Johnson appointed the Mr Pincher to deputy chief whip despite having being briefed about previous allegations of inappropriate behaviour by the MP.

A previous Downing Street claim that the PM had no knowledge of the allegations was contradicted by senior officials and Mr Johnson has since admitted he was in fact told.

"There was a minor mistake that was made," Mr Rees-Mogg told Sky News on Tuesday night as his boss fought for his political life.

"Doesn't that show you a big man who's willing to apologise when he makes a mistake? I'm not pretending the Prime Minister didn't make a mistake. That's obvious."

The Brexit opportunities minister added that the prime minister had a majority and mandate from the British people, and that it was "a wonderfully 18th century view" to think the PM had to resign because his ministers had quit.

But the PM's untruth was the final straw for many MPs in Mr Johnson's party, who said he should quit.

Mr Sunak said said the public expected "government to be conducted properly, competently and seriously" as he quit over the Chris Pincher affair.

And in an incendiary letter, Mr Javid said the British people "expect integrity from their government" but now believed Mr Johnson was neither competent nor "acting in the national interest".

The Prime Minister's authority had already been damaged by a confidence vote which saw 41 per cent of his MPs vote against him – but he did not quit.

Mr Rees-Mogg was joined by Nadine Dorries and Liz Truss in openly backing the prime minister on Tuesday.

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