Tory leadership hopeful Michael Gove recently admitted to taking cocaine ‘on several occasions,’ saying he now deeply regrets it.
The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs confirmed he took the illegal substance at social events when he was a young journalist and now realises it was a mistake.
The Environment Secretary said it would be up to his fellow colleagues whether or not he should be leader, but added he didn’t plan on going into politics when he was younger.
After making the admission, Gove said his past mistakes shouldn’t be held against him in his bid to become prime minister.
The politician told the Daily Mail:
I took drugs on several occasions at social events more than 20 years ago. At the time I was a young journalist. It was a mistake. I look back and I think, I wish I hadn’t done that.
It was 20 years ago and yes, it was a mistake. But I don’t believe that past mistakes disqualify you.
The confession comes as members of the Conservative party are due to vote for a new party leader after Theresa May stepped down from the role yesterday (June 7).
The question now is that people should look at my record as a politician and ask themselves ‘is this person we see ready to lead now?’
The MP’s admission ties in with the publication of a book about him by political journalist Owen Bennett, titled Michael Gove: A Man in a Hurry.
The book says the Environment Secretary owned up to using the drug when he was being ‘put through his paces’ by advisers in the 2016 Tory leadership contest.
Gove reportedly made the admission when he and the aides were trying to anticipate what questions he would face from the media, with an inside source saying the MP responded to the question of whether he’d taken any drugs with, ‘yes, cocaine’.
An excerpt from the book reads:
Gove was instructed not to give that answer in public, and told to fall back on the words David Cameron had used when he was running for leader, namely that politicians are entitled to a private life before entering politics.
Gove was never asked the question in the leadership contest, instead withdrawing after being beaten by May in the second round.
Leadership nominations will close at 5pm on Monday, the Conservative party has said.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).