Gove shafts Johnson as May moves to take Conservative leadership

The shock news this morning is that the two top Brexiteers have parted company.

Michael Gove has announced that he is to run independently for the leadership, saying that he does not believe that Boris Johnson can provided the necessary leadership. And Gove can?

The apparent Robin Cook of today’s Tories differs from that template of the most able but inevitably ‘Number Two’ politician in his [Gove’s] utter and proven lack of integrity.

During the Brexit campaign, Gove serially and knowingly deceived their target electorate more – and more believably than did Johnson.

Gove’s action follows his wife’s [Daily Mail columnist, Sarah Vine] leaked email instructions to him yesterday – ‘You MUST have SPECIFIC assurances from Boris OTHERWISE you cannot guarantee your support. The details can be worked out later on, but without that you have no leverage.’

Gove would seem to have been unable to get ‘SPECIFIC assurances’ from Johnson as to his [Gove’s] desired cabinet position as the spoils of war and so has decided to go f0r it himself – even though he has recently said that he doesn’t not see himself as a leader. Nor do we.

His wife’s email also told Gove: ‘Crucially, the membership will not have the necessary reassurance to back Boris, neither will (Daily Mail editor Paul) Dacre/(Rupert) Murdoch, who instinctively dislike Boris but trust your ability enough to support a Boris Gove ticket.’

The Gove decision to stand has clearly been a remarkably recent one. Former candidate for the Conservative leadership, David Davis, has must said that it was only 8pm last night that Gove’s assistant texted to ask him to attend this morning’s [11am] leadership launch by Boris Johnson.

So the Goves’ plan to usurp Johnson has come to fruition this morning.

Or was it only the Goves’ plan?

Sarah Vine’s instructions to her husband was ‘accidentally copied’ to ‘a member of the public’ – who passed it to Sky News.

Had the email – which was addressed to her husband and his two aides – been accidentally broadcast on a personal mailing list, that would be believable. But to have been accidentally copied in to ‘a member of the public’ looks ike a deliberate ploy?


Well, there’s is the frontline desire for personal gain in cabinet post advancement, with Gove’s desire to be Johnson’s Chancellor now – wisely – replaced by an apparent wish to be Foreign Secretary [a rather implausible role for a man who helped to drive Britain out of the European Union]; and to lead the Brexit negotiations with the EU.

But there are signs of a wider deal having been done, with Gove perhaps offered a central role in the Brexit negotiations in exchange for shafting Johnson. Gove is likely to take more votes from Brexiteer MPs than Johnson -meaning that Johnson may  be denied the position of one of the final two candidates to go to the Conservative party membership – where Johnson is the clear favourite.

It was noticeable that in her campaign launch just now, Theresa May said that the Cabinet Office unit to lead these negotiations which David Cameron has now handed over to her to set up, that she would ensure that it was led by a senior politician who has supported the Brexit campaign.

Expect that politician to be Michael Gove – and her campaign Chair, Chris Grayling, now to be Foreign Secretary in the government May will form.

She is an impressively serious politician who will win this leadership contest.

She is also astute.

She appeared at her leadership campaign launch in a Black Watch suit, spoke of securing the British union and qualified herself as the daughter of a vicar and the relative of an army major. So – not posh and with a church and military provenance. How’s that for a full set of assurances?

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Related Articles & Comments

  • To compare Gove to Cook just on integrity will have the latter stirring in his grave – Gove’s surely far more of a dogma-driven control freak than Cook ever was.
    And that email from wife to husband – do they not speak to each other, or had he / she moved out?
    I’d like to see a ‘specific assurance’ from someone – that Boris Johnson never, ever, gets to climb to the top of the greasy pole.
    There are distinct similarities to his and Jeremy Corbyn’s contrasting popularity with their party members and unpopularity with their fellow politicians.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    Robert Wakeham June 30, 2016 11:25 am Reply
    • The reports said it was addressed (or copied?) to one of his advisers. It was sent at 07:41 so one of them could have left already for work and she was wanting to share the conclusions of their discussions with the whole team.

      I would have thought that Cook would come out far worse in any comparison of their marriages considering his extramarital record!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

      Lundavra June 30, 2016 12:35 pm Reply
      • To my recollection, Robin Cook unceremoniously dumped his wife for his secretary – but this is as nothing compared with the serial infidelity of Boris ‘the bounder’ Johnson (rather a pompous and sanctimonious bounder this morning).

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

        Robert Wakeham June 30, 2016 1:19 pm Reply
  • Well Robert – you have so much to say so get your name in there then we could all have a laugh !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

    Malcolm Kirk June 30, 2016 1:58 pm Reply
    • I think it’s your party, rather than mine, Malcolm.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Robert Wakeham June 30, 2016 5:31 pm Reply
  • Nice to watch the bungling Tories fighting it out to be the leader of a Foreign Country.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

    A.Salmon June 30, 2016 2:49 pm Reply
    • A few of them are not so much bungling as venal – and if you’re wondering why no noises from Ian Duncan-Snith, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Bernard Jenkin, they’re sitting up on a branch waiting for the right moment to flap down and tear at the wounded animal.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      Robert Wakeham June 30, 2016 4:14 pm Reply
  • Just watched and listened to Carney,BOE man.
    I would buckle up and prepare for a very bumpy ride!
    He basically said,I told you so but I’ll do what I can with the cards I have been dealt. He now has four Jokers!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

    A.Salmon June 30, 2016 4:48 pm Reply
    • That would be the same Mark Carney (a Canadian, Governor of the Bank of England, thus not one of our elected politicians) who – before the referendum – incurred the wrath of the pro-Brexit Hon Bernard Jenkin MP (chair of the Public Administration Select Committee) for telling what was clearly the truth.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

      Robert Wakeham June 30, 2016 5:25 pm Reply
  • Independence Ref 2 a stonewall certainty now.
    Nicola should declare a snap referendum now,with a 4 week lead in period.
    Westminster would be incapable of mounting any project fear pap as they seem incapable period.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

    A.Salmon June 30, 2016 5:01 pm Reply
  • Just been listening to Michael Gove talking to Laura Kuenssberg – pass the sick-bag, please.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    Robert Wakeham June 30, 2016 5:56 pm Reply
    • She does irritate me, but she’s usually not on long enough to make me feel sick.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

      JB June 30, 2016 7:25 pm Reply
      • Really? – it was the creepy Mr Gove that upset me.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

        Robert Wakeham June 30, 2016 7:37 pm Reply
        • I’m jesting Robert!

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

          JB June 30, 2016 7:53 pm Reply
  • It is safe to say IndiRef2 before next summer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

    A.Salmon June 30, 2016 6:14 pm Reply
  • Latest- American fiscal institutions eyeing up Edinburgh,Glasgow for bases.
    Nasdaq in Glasgow looks good.
    Indi,here we come.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

    A.Salmon June 30, 2016 7:27 pm Reply
    • AS, that will be some move.

      The NASDAQ Stock Market, commonly known as the NASDAQ, is an American stock exchange. It is the second-largest exchange in the world by market capitalization, behind only the New York Stock Exchange. Wikipedia

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      richard June 30, 2016 7:48 pm Reply
      • Reuters and Herald reporting
        Ain’t no stopping us now,we’re on the move!!!!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

        A.Salmon June 30, 2016 7:53 pm Reply

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