76 Facts About Michael Gove

1. Michael Gove is a former Chairman of Policy Exchange, a centre-right think-tank which has come up with innovative policies on policing, local government and fighting terrorism.

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2. Michael Gove is married to Sarah Vine, who is a columnist at The Daily Mail, and they have one daughter, Beatrice, and a son, William, who was born at Frimley Park Hospital in November 2004.

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3. Michael Gove was born in Edinburgh in 1967 and brought up in Aberdeen.

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4. Michael Gove left his post as Education Secretary in 2014 when he was appointed Chief Whip.

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5. Michael Gove became as Secretary of State for Education after Conservative David Cameron was elected Prime Minister in 2010 and formed the Coalition Government of Conservative and Labour leaders.

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6. Michael Gove began his career in politics when in May 2005 he was elected to the House of Commons Conservative seat for the Surrey Heath constituency.

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7. Michael Gove met his wife, Sarah Vine, 49, while the two were working together at the Times.

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8. In 1996 Michael Gove joined the Times in London as a leader writer, where he continued to move up in the company.

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9. Michael Gove began his career in journalism while still living in Aberdeen when he joined the Press and Journal as a trainee reporter.

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10. Michael Gove was selected as the Conservative candidate to fight the Surrey Heath constituency south of London and was elected MP in the 2005 general election.

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11. In 1996 Michael Gove joined The Times newspaper in London as a columnist and leader writer.

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12. Michael Gove was adopted and brought up in Aberdeen, in northern Scotland.

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13. Michael Gove was portrayed by actor Oliver Maltman in the 2019 HBO and Channel 4 produced drama entitled Brexit: The Uncivil War.

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14. Michael Gove proposed that the invasion of Iraq would bring peace and democracy both to Iraq and the wider Middle East.

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15. Michael Gove argued Britain would be "freer, fairer and better off" for leaving.

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16. Michael Gove disputed the Information Commissioner's ruling and proceeded to tribunal, costing taxpayers £12,540 in fees for legal advice, but the appeal was withdrawn.

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17. Michael Gove encouraged a "civilised, inclusive, positive and optimistic debate".

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18. Michael Gove was praised in December 2015 for scrapping the courts fee introduced by his predecessor, Chris Grayling.

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19. Michael Gove urged the audience at the Hay Festival: "Tell Michael Gove what you think of it.

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20. Michael Gove retorted that "there is good academia and bad academia.

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21. Michael Gove said that this was needed because left-wing ideologues had undermined education.

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22. Michael Gove told a Free Schools conference that "no one in this room is here to make architects richer" and specifically mentioned architect Richard Rogers.

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23. Michael Gove was involved in founding the right-leaning magazine Standpoint, to which he occasionally contributes.

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24. Michael Gove helped to write speeches for Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet ministers, including Peter Lilley and Michael Howard.

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25. Michael Gove wrote a sympathetic biography of Michael Portillo and a critical study of the Northern Ireland peace process, which was commissioned by the Charles Douglas-Home Trust.

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26. Michael Gove remains on good terms with Rupert Murdoch, whom Gove described in evidence before the Leveson Inquiry as "one of the most impressive and significant figures of the last 50 years".

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27. Michael Gove has written a weekly column on politics and current affairs for the newspaper and contributed to The Times Literary Supplement, Prospect magazine and The Spectator.

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28. Michael Gove joined The Times in 1996 as a leader writer and assumed posts as its comment editor, news editor, Saturday editor and assistant editor.

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29. Michael Gove was born in Edinburgh and originally forenamed Graham by his biological mother.

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30. Michael Gove was eliminated from the leadership race on the second ballot on 7 July 2016.

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31. Michael Gove sought to expand the academies programme introduced by the previous Labour Government.

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32. Michael Gove was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet by David Cameron in 2007 as Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families.

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33. Michael Gove is an author and a columnist for The Times.

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34. Michael Gove became Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the cabinet reshuffle on 11 June 2017.

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35. Michael Gove is NOT resigning—source close to him says 'Michael is staying at Defra.

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36. Michael Gove is not resigning, sources close to him have announced.

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37. Michael Gove rules out resigning over Brexit deal—Politics live.

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38. Michael Gove has given his support to an Iceland Christmas advert about the damaging environmental impact of palm oil that was banned for being too political.

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39. Michael Gove says he is "absolutely confident the prime minister will do the very very best for Britain".

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40. Michael Gove is married to journalist Sarah Vine, who formerly wrote for The Times and in 2013 became a Daily Mail columnist.

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41. In April 2015, Michael Gove described his faith in an article for The Spectator magazine.

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42. Michael Gove was behind plans to provide schools throughout England and Wales with a copy of the King James Bible to celebrate the 400th anniversary of its translation into English, though he said he backed the scheme because of the historical and cultural significance of that translation rather than on purely religious grounds.

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43. Michael Gove stated he was "Christian and proud of it" at a talk to pupils at Westminster School in 2012.

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44. Michael Gove believes that Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom, arguing that Scotland's strengths complement those of other parts of the UK.

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45. Michael Gove had criticised Cambridge professor Sir Richard Evans saying his views were more like that of an undergraduate cynic in a Footlights review.

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46. In 2015, Michael Gove cancelled a £5.9 million contract to provide services for prisons in Saudi Arabia, according to The Guardian, because it was thought "the British government should not be assisting a regime that uses beheadings, stoning, crucifixions and lashings as forms of punishment.

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47. Michael Gove has described himself as "a proud Zionist", and supports the United Jewish Israel Appeal's fundraising activities.

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48. Michael Gove described his decision to campaign for Britain to leave the EU in the EU referendum as "the most difficult decision of my political life".

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49. In 1997, Michael Gove wrote in support of bringing back hanging as capital punishment, which was abolished in the UK in 1965, although he has not repeated such views since.

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50. Michael Gove has been the subject of repeated criticism for alleged attempts to avoid the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

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51. Michael Gove has sold the house and now commutes to his constituency.

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52. Michael Gove claimed for a cot mattress, despite children's items being banned under updated Commons Rules.

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53. Michael Gove said he "was quite surprised" to be asked to join the cabinet after May sacked him in 2016 after she became Prime Minister.

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54. Michael Gove said: "I wanted to help build a team behind Boris Johnson so that a politician who argued for leaving the European Union could lead us to a better future.

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55. On 14 July 2016 Michael Gove was removed from the position of Justice Secretary by the new Prime Minister, Theresa May.

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56. Michael Gove was praised for his prominent role in scrapping a British bid for a Saudi prison contract.

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57. Michael Gove told BBC News that he had mixed emotions about starting the new role, saying it was a privilege to become Chief Whip but that leaving the Department for Education was "a wrench".

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58. Michael Gove was criticised by teachers unions for his attempts to overhaul British education.

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59. In November 2013 Michael Gove delivered a speech to the NSPCC in which he argued that social work training involved 'idealistic students being told that the individuals with whom they will work have been disempowered by society'.

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60. In June 2012, Michael Gove approved three creationist schools, such as Grindon Hall Christian School in Sunderland, which opened in September 2012.

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61. In April 2011, Michael Gove criticised schools for not studying pre-twentieth century classics and blamed "England's constricted and unreformed exam system" for failing to encourage children to read.

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62. In a November 2010 white paper, Michael Gove declared reforms would include the compulsory study of foreign languages up to the age of sixteen years, a shake-up of league tables in which schools are ranked higher for the number of pupils taking GCSEs in five core subjects, and the introduction of targets for primary schools.

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63. In March 2011, Michael Gove was criticised for not understanding the importance of school architecture and having misrepresented the cost.

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64. Prior to the 2010 general election, most of Michael Gove's questions in Commons debates concerned children, schools and families, education, local government, council tax, foreign affairs, and the environment.

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65. Michael Gove is seen as part of an influential set of Conservatives, sometimes referred to as the Notting Hill Set, which includes: former Prime Minister David Cameron, former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, Edward Vaizey, Nicholas Boles and Rachel Whetstone.

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66. Michael Gove expressed admiration in late-February 2003 for New Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair because of the way he was handling the crisis in Iraq: "As a right-wing polemicist, all I can say looking at Mr Blair now is, what's not to like?" Blair, he thought, was "behaving like a true Thatcherite".

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67. Michael Gove had been chairman of Policy Exchange, a conservative think tank launched in 2002.

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68. Michael Gove was a member of the winning team in Grampian Television's quiz show Top Club, and played the school chaplain in the 1995 family comedy A Feast at Midnight.

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69. In October 2012, Michael Gove wrote an apology letter to his former French teacher for misbehaving in class.

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70. Michael Gove was born in Edinburgh and originally forenamed Graham by his biological mother; at the age of four months he was adopted by a Labour-supporting family in Aberdeen, where he was brought up.

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71. In 2016, Michael Gove played a major role in the UK's referendum on EU membership as the co-convenor of Vote Leave and along with Boris Johnson, became a key figurehead of the campaign.

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72. In a 2014 Cabinet reshuffle, Michael Gove was moved to the post of Chief Whip.

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73. At its 2013 conference, Michael Gove was criticised by the National Association of Head Teachers, whose members condemned the "climate of bullying, fear and intimidation" they said he had created during his time as Education Secretary, and passed a vote of no confidence in his policies.

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74. Born in Edinburgh, Michael Gove was raised in Aberdeen and attended Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, where he took a BA in English, graduating with an upper second, after which he began his career as a journalist.

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75. Michael Gove forced to defend lack of post-Brexit protection against chlorinated chicken in agriculture bill.

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76. Michael Gove was replying to David Simpson at a Westminster committee on Wednesday.

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