110 Facts About Michael Gove


Michael Andrew Gove is a Scottish politician serving as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations since 2021.


Michael Gove has been Member of Parliament for Surrey Heath since 2005.


Michael Gove attended the independent Robert Gordon's College and studied English at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.


Michael Gove then began a career as a journalist at The Press and Journal before having a long tenure as a leader writer at The Times.


Michael Gove was campaign manager for Johnson in the 2016 Conservative Party leadership election but withdrew his support on the morning Johnson was due to declare and announced his own candidacy, finishing third behind May and Andrea Leadsom.


Michael Gove launched a second Conservative leadership bid in 2019, coming third behind Johnson and Jeremy Hunt.


Michael Gove took on the additional role of minister for the Cabinet Office in the 2020 cabinet reshuffle.


Under Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove was reinstated to his previous roles of Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations.


Michael Gove was born as Graeme Andrew Logan on 26 August 1967.


Michael Gove regarded his birthplace as Edinburgh until it was revealed in a biography in 2019 that he was born in a maternity hospital in Fonthill Road, Aberdeen.


Michael Gove's father, Ernest, ran a fish processing business and his mother, Christine, was a lab assistant at the University of Aberdeen, before working at the Aberdeen School for the Deaf.


Michael Gove was educated at two state schools, and later, on the recommendation of his primary school teacher, he sat and passed the entrance exam for the independent Robert Gordon's College.


Michael Gove joined the Labour Party in 1983 and campaigned on behalf of the party for the 1983 general election.


Michael Gove passed the scholarship exam and served as a school prefect in his final two years.


Michael Gove became a member of the Oxford University Conservative Association and was secretary of Aberdeen South Young Conservatives.


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


Michael Gove was elected as Oxford Union President a year after Johnson.


Michael Gove first found employment on the Peterborough column of The Daily Telegraph, after passing an interview with Max Hastings.


Michael Gove broke the news of the 1995 Conservative Party leadership election thanks to his connections with the upper echelons of the party.


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.


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.


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".


Michael Gove wrote a sympathetic biography of Michael Portillo and a highly critical study of the Northern Ireland peace process, where he compared the Good Friday Agreement to appeasement of the Nazis in the 1930s.


Michael Gove was a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4's The Moral Maze and Newsnight Review on BBC Two.


Michael Gove was the founding chairman of Policy Exchange, a conservative think tank launched in 2002.


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


Michael Gove won the Conservative candidacy for Surrey Heath on 5 July 2004, after the sitting MP Nick Hawkins was deselected by the local Conservative association.


Michael Gove first entered the House of Commons after being elected in the 2005 general election.


Michael Gove made his maiden speech on 7 June 2005, focusing on national security.


Michael Gove was seen as part of an influential set of Conservatives referred to as the Notting Hill Set, which included Conservative leader David Cameron, future Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, Ed Vaizey, Nick Boles and Rachel Whetstone.


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


Michael Gove said he would repay the claim for the cot mattress, but maintained that his other claims were "below the acceptable threshold costs for furniture" and that moving house was necessary "to effectively discharge my parliamentary duties".


On 2 July 2007, Michael Gove was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, shadowing Ed Balls.


Michael Gove advocated Swedish-style free schools, to be managed by parents and funded by the state, with the possibility that such schools would be allowed to be run on a for-profit model.


Michael Gove apologised when the list of terminated school-building projects he had released was found to be inaccurate; the list was reannounced several times before it was finally accurately published.


In July 2010, Michael Gove said that Labour had failed in their attempt to break the link between social class and school achievement despite spending billions of pounds: quoting research, he indicated that by the age of six years, children of low ability from affluent homes were still out-performing brighter children from poorer backgrounds.


Michael Gove sold the house and began to commute to his constituency.


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


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


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".


Michael Gove remained in the post of chief whip until May 2015, when the role was taken over by Mark Harper.


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


Michael Gove removed the 12-book limit on prison books introduced by Grayling, arguing that books increased literacy and numeracy, skills needed for making prisoners a "potential asset to society".


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


On 14 July 2016 Michael Gove was removed from the position of justice secretary by the new prime minister, Theresa May.


Michael Gove was a prominent figure in the campaign for Britain to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum and described his decision to take that side as "the most difficult decision of my political life".


In 2021, Louise Richardson, the vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, said she was "embarrassed" that Michael Gove was an alumnus, on account of these comments.


Some political analysts predicted that Michael Gove might quit the race if he was unable to beat Leadsom in the first round of voting.


Michael Gove subsequently told the media that he was "naturally disappointed" and described his two opponents as "formidable politicians", welcoming the fact that the next PM would be female.


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


On 14 July 2016 Michael Gove was dismissed by the prime minister, Theresa May According to Jon Craig of Sky News, Michael Gove was told to "go and learn about loyalty on the backbenches" in a two-minute meeting with May.


In October 2016 Michael Gove was elected to the Exiting the European Union Select Committee.


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


In July 2017, Michael Gove announced that a fuel combustion vehicle ban will be put into place due to air pollution.


Michael Gove said that the ban would take effect by 2040 and end the sales of new fuel combustion cars, trucks, vans, and buses that have petrol and diesel engines in the UK.


Michael Gove faced criticism over the appointment of Ben Goldsmith to the role of non-executive director at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as Goldsmith had previously donated cash to Michael Gove's Surrey Heath constituency.


An important aspect of Michael Gove's tenure was the introduction of laws concerning animal welfare.


In January 2019, May survived a vote of no confidence in her government, after a "barnstorming" speech from Michael Gove directed towards the Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.


In May 2019, Michael Gove introduced the Wild Animals in Circuses Bill, banning the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in England.


On 26 May 2019, Michael Gove announced he would stand for the Conservative leadership following May's resignation, becoming the eighth candidate to enter the contest.


Michael Gove promised to remove the charge for UK citizenship applications from EU nationals if elected, and to replace VAT with a "simpler sales tax".


Michael Gove stated that he regretted having done so, and regarded it as having been a mistake.


Michael Gove progressed following the first ballot, having received 37 votes.


Michael Gove received 41 votes in the second ballot, and by the third ballot had 51 MPs backing him.


Michael Gove was excluded from a place on the National Security Council committee as Johnson pursued a slimming down of Cabinet operations.


Michael Gove became a central figure in the conduction of Operation Yellowhammer, the civil contingency planning for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.


Michael Gove helped to prepare Johnson for the 2019 general election debates by playing the role of the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.


Michael Gove offered to stand in for Johnson during a Channel 4 debate on environmental issues but the editor of Channel 4 News said the debate was only open to party leaders.


On 13 February 2020, Michael Gove took on additional responsibilities as Minister for the Cabinet Office, succeeding Oliver Dowden, who had been appointed Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, in Johnson's first large reshuffle of his government.


Michael Gove later apologised and clarified that what he had said was not the case.


When Johnson was self-isolating after having been tested positive for COVID-19, Michael Gove stood in for Johnson briefly from 27 March 2020 at the daily briefings of the pandemic, until Michael Gove self-isolated himself after a family member developed COVID-19 symptoms.


In May 2020, Michael Gove was criticised after his wife Sarah Vine shared a bookcase picture "as a very special treat for my trolls" which featured a book by the Holocaust denier David Irving, and a copy of The Bell Curve, which controversially claims that intelligence is highly heritable and that median IQ varies among races.


Michael Gove was part of a committee of Cabinet ministers, comprising Johnson, Rishi Sunak and Matt Hancock, that made decisions on the COVID-19 pandemic.


In May 2021, Michael Gove attended the 2021 Champions League Final in Porto with his son, supporting Chelsea; following his visit he was alerted by the NHS Test and Trace system of his potential exposure to the disease, and that he would need to self-isolate.


Rather than isolating for the normal ten-day period, Michael Gove was able to take part in a pilot scheme designed to investigate the efficacy of testing, which required him to self-isolate for only one day and undergo testing every day for a week.


Michael Gove was given responsibilities for the Government's levelling up agenda, the Union and elections, the last two of which he retained from his previous post.


Michael Gove was given the additional title of Minister for Intergovernmental Relations.


In October 2021, while walking on Horseferry Road in Westminster, Michael Gove was accosted by COVID-19 anti-lockdown protesters.


In December 2021, Michael Gove was part of a trio of Cabinet ministers that self-isolated after meeting Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who was later diagnosed with COVID-19.


Michael Gove launched a white paper on levelling up on 2 February 2022.


Michael Gove later announced the Homes for Ukraine scheme, which would arrange for British households to take in Ukrainian refugees.


Michael Gove endorsed Kemi Badenoch's leadership bid and, after her defeat, announced his support for Rishi Sunak.


Michael Gove declined to run in the October 2022 Conservative Party leadership election.


On 25 October 2022, following the accession of Rishi Sunak to the prime ministership, Michael Gove was reinstated to his previous roles of Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations.


The appointment was reported as a surprise, as Michael Gove had previously said that he did not expect to serve in government again.


Michael Gove made the announcement as he met with Awaab's family in Rochdale.


Michael Gove has expressed his view that the state should generally not interfere in domestic affairs and attests to have campaigned for economic freedom in certain matters.


In remarks prepared for the 2020 Ditchley Lecture, Michael Gove portrayed what he saw as the malaise of modern society as leading to populism, because the non-intellectual classes "chose to opt for polarised identity politics rather than stay with broad-based national political movements" instead of choosing to follow the politics of diversity, inclusion and identity politics they were force-fed by the elites.


Michael Gove praised Franklin D Roosevelt as a model for his renewal of capitalism and he imagined the construction of inclusive societies with the deconstruction of Whitehall.


Michael Gove stressed "basic writing, meeting chairing and time management skills" for all policy civil servants.


Michael Gove ended with a paean to his purpose in public service: "to tackle inequality".


The Financial Times describes Michael Gove as having "strong neoconservative convictions".


In December 2008, Michael Gove wrote that declarations of either victory or defeat in Iraq in 2003 were premature, and that the liberation of Iraq was a foreign policy success.


Michael Gove later stated he was reacting to the manner in which Labour MPs celebrated the outcome of the vote.


Michael Gove is one of several Conservative MPs who co-authored Direct Democracy: An Agenda for a New Model Party.


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.


Michael Gove has expressed interest in the idea of letting Scottish people living in the other regions of the UK vote in a second Scottish independence referendum.


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


Michael Gove is, like the great majority of UK Conservative Party MPs, a member of Conservative Friends of Israel.


Michael Gove has said that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel is anti-Semitic.


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


Jeremy Paxman said Michael Gove had "wilfully misquoted" Evans on the subject of the First World War.


In 2012, 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.


In 2013, Michael Gove credited Cardinal Keith O'Brien with using his intellect to protect the vulnerable in Scotland whilst regretting the absence of a similar figure in the Kirk.


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.


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


Michael Gove met the journalist Sarah Vine in 1998, when he was comment editor and she was arts editor at The Times.


Michael Gove contracted H1N1 swine flu during the 2009 influenza pandemic.


Michael Gove is a supporter of Queens Park Rangers Football Club.


Friends of Michael Gove denied he had attempted to avoid paying.