Michael Gove Denies He Is A 'Snake' And Says He Is 'Just A Regular Guy'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Michael Gove is supporting Kemi Badenoch to be the next prime ministe (Photo: Danny Lawson - PA Images via Getty Images)
Michael Gove is supporting Kemi Badenoch to be the next prime ministe (Photo: Danny Lawson - PA Images via Getty Images)

Michael Gove is supporting Kemi Badenoch to be the next prime ministe (Photo: Danny Lawson - PA Images via Getty Images)

Michael Gove has denied he is a “snake” after No.10 sources briefed against him when he was sacked by Boris Johnson.

The former Cabinet minister, who was sacked as levelling up secretary in the days before Johnson resigned, was accused of being a “snake” for calling on the prime minister to go.

Gove is understood to have told the PM on last Wednesday morning that his position was untenable. Johnson resigned as Tory leader the following day, triggering a leadership contest.

At the time the BBC reported that a No.10 source had said of Gove: “You cannot have a snake who is not with you on any of the big arguments who then gleefully briefs the press that he has called for the leader to go.”

But Gove — who has a chequered history with Johnson after he withdrew support for his 2016 leadership bid to run himself — has insisted he is just a “regular guy”.

Asked by the BBC whether he was a “snake”, Gove replied: “No.

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

Johnson’s decision to sack Gove shocked Tory MPs, with one former minister telling HuffPost UK: “It’s Trump all over again.”

But Gove said Johnson was “very equable, very polite” when he fired him — despite his warning that a “grim political reality” was dawning on the Conservative party.

“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,” he said.

“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”.

Johnson’s eventual resignation last week has triggered a Tory leadership race in which 10 candidates are standing.

Gove has thrown his weight behind former equalities minister Kemi Badenoch, who officially launched her campaign today.

Writing in The Sun, Gove praised Badenoch for her “no-bulls**t” approach and said she would be “Sir Keir Starmer’s worst nightmare”.

Badenoch, 42, has long been seen as a rising star in the party and has focused on culture war issues as part of her pitch following her resignation from Johnson’s government.

At her campaign launch, she opened her speech by saying: “It’s time to tell the truth”.

“For too long politicians have been saying you can have it all – you can have your cake and eat it,” she said.

“But I’m here to tell you that’s not the case.

“Governing involves trade-offs and you need to be honest about that.”

Badenoch has so far amassed the support of 18 MPs, two nominations short of the number needed to secure a place on the leadership ballot this evening.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

Related...

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting