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UK Cabinet member issues unusual style guide to staff; bans words like 'equal'


ANI Europe
The newly appointed UK Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, raised eyebrows after issuing an unusual style guide to his new office, wherein specific words like "equal" have been banned in use for correspondence.
Commonly referred to as the "Honourable member for the 18th century," Rees-Mogg is known to be a stickler for tradition, according to CNN. A former pupil of Eton College, he is usually seen wearing double-breasted suits and uses archaic English, cementing his place as a lover of old British conventions.
In his style-guide, his staff has been told to use imperial measurements, add a double space after a full stop and refer to all non-titled males as "esquire" as a mark of respect, in all correspondence to fellow MPs and others. The unusual diktat was first revealed by CNN-affiliate ITV.
The arch-Brexiteer staff has also been banned from using words like "ongoing," "speculate," "very," "disappointment," and "equal". However, ITV highlighted that Rees-Mogg himself has failed to adhere to this word ban in the past, having used "very" and "equal" multiple times during a Brexit speech.
He has been given a position in the government for the first time under Boris Johson's leadership.
Speaking on the style guide, Rees-Mogg told the Daily Telegraph, "They asked how I like my letters done and I said: 'Well I have got a list of how things are done in my office upstairs."
The Leader of the House of Commons also highlighted that the rules are not new and have been in regular use at his office during his time as the MP for North East Somerset, according to CNN.
"I had it brought down from my House of Commons office. It's just a thing listing banned words, which are sort of New Labour words like 'unacceptable," he said.
While his style-guide is being widely seen as unusual, a few British politicians have come to his defence.
"In fairness, these are largely rules I apply. Double spacing after full stops. Esq. Avoid the dreaded 'meet with.' Somewhat sensations coverage of what is, in essence, good house style," said Conservative politician Simon Clarke.
Rees-Mogg has ardently supported Brexit and played a major role in the ouster of former UK Prime Minister Theresa May. He repeatedly called for her resignation and urged his fellow MPs to vote against her Brexit Withdrawal deal -- which was rejected thrice by the British Parliament.

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First Published: Jul 28 2019 | 3:30 PM IST

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