Michael Gove denies he was ‘a snake’ in calling on Boris Johnson to resign

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Michael Gove with Boris Johnson.  (AFP via Getty Images)
Michael Gove with Boris Johnson. (AFP via Getty Images)

Michael Gove has denied he is a “snake” after being labelled as such by No 10 sources when he was sacked as levelling up secretary by Boris Johnson last week.

Asked if he was a snake by BBC, Mr Gove replied “no” and laughed.

He responded: “I’ve been called all sorts of things in my political life, but no, I think I’m just a regular guy.”

Mr Gove said he had not given “a second thought” to why someone in the Prime Minister’s team called him that and that he puts “spicy, salacious” comments to one side.

Mr Johnson’s relationship with Mr Gove has long been troubled, with the Prime Minister’s leadership campaign in 2016 derailed when his rival withdrew support and decided to run himself.

Meanwhile, Mr Gove said Mr Johnson was “very equable, very polite” when he sacked him last week after the Prime Minister did not heed his call to step down in a “dignified and appropriate” way.

The former levelling up secretary told the BBC: “When he sacked me, he was as he’s always been in conversation with me, very equable, very polite, and obviously I’m not surprised because earlier in the day, I’d gone to see him privately.

“I’d explained to him that, while I regretted it, there was a grim political reality facing us…

“My advice to him, which I offered as a friend and in candour and in private, was that if he chose to step down that day, that Wednesday, he could take control of the situation and he could do so in a way that was dignified and appropriate.

“Now obviously Boris took a different view and I respect that.”

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