Michael Gove admits apology to Boris Johnson as minister reveals 'private' chat with former PM

Michael Gove

Michael Gove has said he apologised to Boris Johnson after the "leadership knifing of 2016"

GB News
Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke

Published: 01/10/2023

- 10:29

Updated: 01/10/2023

- 11:52

Gove told GB News he made the apology 'a long time ago', but further patched things up with the former PM in a 'private conversation' a few weeks ago

Michael Gove has said he apologised to Boris Johnson after the "leadership knifing of 2016".

Speaking to GB News' Camilla Tominey at the Conservative Party Conference, Gove said he made the apology "a long time ago", adding that a few weeks ago he patched things up with Boris at a "social event".

When asked whether he "patched things up" with the former PM, Gove said: "I enjoyed working for Boris.

"We all know that Boris is a politician with massive gifts, but also he made some mistakes and we all know what happened then.

WATCH NOW: Camilla Tominey interviews Michael Gove

"I had the opportunity to talk to him at a social event.

"He is now a private citizen, so it's a private conversation."

When asked whether he ever "apologised" to Johnson for the "leadership knifing of 2016", Gove said: "I think a long time ago yes."

He added: "I think that there have been so many turbulent toeings and froeings, that it's probably best for historians to judge what was right and what was wrong."

In 2016, Gove put a pin in Johnson's leadership ambitions when he announced his own decision to run, expressing doubts about the former Mayor of London's leadership.

At the time, he said: "I respect and admire all the candidates running for the leadership.

"In particular, 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,

"But I have come, reluctantly, to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead."

The same conversation saw Gove defend Suella Braverman's speech on migration, which she delivered in Washington last week.



Gove said Braverman's speech was "thoughtful", denying that it was undermining Britain's multiculturalism.

GB News

He said the speech was "thoughtful", denying that it was undermining Britain's multiculturalism.

"I think she was making a specific point, which is that - for us to continue to be a very successful multiethnic, multicultural country - we do need to make sure that we have a core of values that everyone who lives here accepts and coheres around - the rule of law, democracy, tolerance for minorities and so on.

"We have been successful - if you look at the Cabinet, Parliament, the leadership we have in the media and the private sector - Britain is probably one of the most successful multiethnic, multiracial democracies in the world.

"But you only maintain that success if people have confidence in your policy of migration."

Read more updates from the Conservative Party Conference

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