Michael Gove says Theresa May showed 'very good judgement' to sack him from the cabinet

Caroline Mortimer
Michael Gove says Theresa May was right to sack him from the Cabinet after he ran for leader

Former Conservative leadership candidate Michael Gove has said Theresa May showed "very good judgement" by sacking him from the Cabinet.

The prominent Leave campaigner and former Justice Secretary was unceremoniously dismissed after Ms May entered No 10 in July last year.

But Mr Gove praised the decision in an interview with Channel 4 News and he said he thought she needed a post-Brexit clearout.

"I think that after the European referendum Theresa needed to have a clearout and she needed to appoint her own people," he said.

"I think that in those 11 months we have seen the Conservative Party governing the country in a way which not only reinforces that strength and stability at the heart of power, but also shows calmness and competence. I think that means Theresa has got the right team around her."

Mr Gove, who recently returned to The Times as a columnist famously stood for the leadership after the resignation of David Cameron – scuppering the chances of fellow Leave campaigner Boris Johnson.

Shortly after launching his campaign he announced he had no charisma and was forced to fend off accusations that he was merely standing to hurt Mr Johnson, having previously said he definitely did not want to be leader.

Leaked emails sent by his wife, Daily Mail columnist Sarah Vine revealed she had told her husband that he must get specific promises from Mr Johnson to win his support for leader. They also confidently assured him that the newspaper's editor, Paul Dacre, would support him not matter what.

The Mail endorsed Ms May a few days later.

He was knocked out of the running during the second round of voting after coming third ahead of Liam Fox and Stephen Crabb.

The decision paved the way for Ms May to get into No 10 without even needing to hold a poll of Tory party members after her main rival, Andrea Leadsom, dropped out following a backlash over comments she made about motherhood.

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