Michael Gove a ‘gossiping drunk’ – Boris ally attacks Tory leadership hopeful

Britain's Justice Secretary, Michael Gove. © Peter Nicholls
Tory leadership hopeful Michael Gove “did the dirty” on Boris Johnson and has an “emotional need” to gossip when drunk, according to key Boris Johnson ally Tory MP Ben Wallace.

Wallace, who previously served as Johnson’s campaign manager, made the withering attack on Tuesday, writing in the Telegraph newspaper.

Wallace claimed that, on Thursday morning, ahead of Johnson’s eventual shock withdrawal from the leadership race sparked by David Cameron’s resignation, “I got a call from a journalist asking me if it was true Michael Gove was deserting Boris, I denied it.

Minutes later, Wallace writes, he saw Tory spin doctor Lynton Crosby looking “ashen white” while “taking a call from someone who turned out to be Michael Gove.

He has done the dirty on us, mate,” were the words I remember most afterwards,” Wallace says.

He also appeared to accuse Gove of being a serial leaker. “From the minute Michael Gove came on board with Boris’s leadership campaign, things started to go wrong.

There was a leak a day in the press, starting with the camera crews at Boris’s house in Oxfordshire on the first day and ending with the infamous email from Sarah Vine, Michael’s wife, ‘accidentally’ finding its way to the papers,” Wallace raged.

The Gove issue is by no means a new one, Wallace notes, claiming that during his time as a Tory whip the office “leaked like a sieve.

Important policy and personnel details made their way to the papers. Michael seems to have an emotional need to gossip, particularly when drink is taken, as it all too often seemed to be,” the former army officer said.

Since withdrawing his support, Gove has maintained that he did so in the best interests of the country.

He told the Telegraph at the time that, to his “deep regret” his confidence in Johnson had “evaporated.

That led me to make the difficult decision, at no little cost, to put friendships aside and act in the national interest,” he said.

His actions have attracted hostility from the Johnson camp. On Sunday, the former mayor’s sister, Rachel Johnson, called Gove “a sort of Westminster suicide bomber, whose deadly belt of explosives has been detonated not by his own hand, but by his own wife.

Gove acted like “a political psychopath,” she said.