Jacob Rees-Mogg has denied claims he is considering launching a leadership bid to replace Theresa May.
"I was at a lunch with Jacob very recently and he indicated he would like to be considered for the leadership when the time comes", Professor Malloch, who is close to U.S. president Donald Trump, told The Mail on Sunday.
There has been much speculation that the MP for North East Somerset might consider the leadership, egged on by supporters who have dubbed themselves the "Moggmentum" movement.
"He did not mean now, but at some point in the future".
Last week Mr Rees-Mogg was named as the second most popular choice to succeed Mrs May in a poll of party members by the ConservativeHome website.
But questioned about his intentions, Rees-Mogg told BBC Radio 4: "I think it's a reminder that it's August and people don't have pressing United Kingdom political news to write about".
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But on Broadcasting House, and in comments to the two newspapers that covered his leadership prospects, Rees-Mogg declined to rule out standing as a candidate in the Tory leadership contest widely expected before the next general election.
However, Mr Rees-Mogg dismissed the idea of him taking over as Prime Minister, describing the notion as "improbable bordering on impossible".
The Anglo-American academic, who is also close to the US President Donald Trump, claimed that Mr Rees-Mogg could be a "strong and charismatic" leader of the Tories.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Rees-Mogg, 48, sidestepped questions about his ambition, saying: "I think if I threw my hat into the ring, my hat would be thrown back at me pretty quickly".
"I am not a Cabinet Minister so it is hard to see how I could be a candidate", he added.