Michael Gove grilled by Burley on ‘forgotten’ areas of Britain
Mr Gove will today face the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC). He will be quizzed on a range of issues within his remit as Levelling Up Secretary and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations. In the evidence session, which will be broadcast here, MPs are likely to follow-up on the Government’s response to the Committee’s recommendations on the Elections Bill, which is currently passing through the House of Lords.
The session is also expected to scrutinise the Government’s proposals for a new set of arrangements for relations and cooperation between the four governments of the UK, which was published last month.
Constitutional aspects of the recently released Levelling Up White Paper will also be put forward.
Mr Gove first entered parliament over 15 years ago, becoming the Conservative MP for Surrey Heath.
He has since risen through the ranks of Government holding various ministerial posts and even at one time running for the top job.
Michael Gove: He was savaged by his former colleague John Bercow
Constitution: He will be quizzed by the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee
His deep knowledge of Westminster and the way it works led John Bercow, former Speaker of the House of Commons, to describe him as one of the smartest members of the Cabinet he knew.
Mr Bercow made the comments in December 2019, just as he was about to leave his post.
While serenading the then-Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Mr Bercow was quick to add in some criticism, suggesting that Mr Gove is a backstabber.
Speaking during the Financial Times’ Banking Summit, he said: “[But] would I like to walk in front of him? No.”
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Michael Gove young: Gove pictured a year after he entered Parliament
Months before, Mr Gove and Mr Bercow had clashed in the Commons.
It came during a crucial vote where MPs voted to take control of the Commons’ agenda during the lengthy and tense Brexit debates.
Mr Bercow was visibly furious and admonished Mr Gove, even bringing the MP’s children into the scathing attack.
As Mr Gove reacted to the night’s events, Mr Bercow shouted at him: “I say to the Chancellor of the Duchy, that when he turns up at our school as a parent, he’s a very well-behaved fellow.
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John Bercow: He was the Speaker of the House of Commons from 2009 to 2019
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“He wouldn’t dare behave like that in front of [the school] and neither would I.”
Continuing his attack, Mr Bercow blasted: “Don’t gesticulate, don’t rant, spare us the theatrics, behave yourself.
“Be a good boy, young man – be a good boy.”
Mr Gove’s wife, Sarah Vine, was furious with the attack, and tweeted: “Insult me, insult my husband – but don’t bring the kids into it. Please. And thank you.”
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Political pundits also took to Twitter to accuse the Speaker of “losing the plot”.
Mr Bercow had been accused of political bias after he allowed the motion that was designed to extend the Brexit process past the October 31 deadline.
He also spoke out publicly against Boris Johnson’s plan to prorogue Parliament, saying he would fight it with “every bone in my body”.
More than a year after leaving his position as Speaker, he defected to the Labour Party.
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Meanwhile, amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine after the Russian invasion, Mr Gove called for the seizure of lavish homes in the UK owned by allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He used a specially-convened Cabinet meeting on Thursday to insist that more action was needed.
This was after independent research suggested that £1.5billion worth of property has been bought by Russians accused of corruption or links to the Kremlin, since 2016.
Mr Gove will be questioned by the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee at 2pm on Tuesday.