Michael Gove Biography

(British Politician Serving as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

Birthday: August 26, 1967 (Virgo)

Born In: Aberdeen, Scotland

Michael Andrew Gove is a British politician and the incumbent Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations. He commenced his career as a journalist at The Press and Journal and thereafter served as a leader writer at The Times. A Member of Parliament for Surrey Heath since 2005, Gove, over the course of his expansive ongoing political career, has held several significant positions under different Prime Ministers. These include serving as Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Secretary of State for Education, Chief Whip of the House of Commons, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury, Secretary of State for Justice and Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain under David Cameron; Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under Theresa May; and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and later Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations under Boris Johnson. He was dismissed by Johnson from the latter two positions after he advised Johnson to resign as Prime Minister during the July 2022 Government crisis. Gove was later reinstated in these two positions after Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister. A member of the Conservative Party, Gove ran for the party’s leadership election in 2016 and 2019, however ended up third on both occasions. As co-convenor of Vote Leave, the campaigning organisation that supported for exit of the UK from the European Union, Gove, along with Johnson and Labour MP Gisela Stuart, fronted the organisation and emerged as prominent figures during the 2016 Brexit referendum.

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Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In August

Also Known As: Graeme Andrew Logan, Michael Andrew Gove

Age: 55 Years, 55 Year Old Males

Family:

Spouse/Ex-: Sarah Vine (m. 2001–2022)

children: Beatrice Gove, William Gove

Born Country: Scotland

Political Leaders British Men

Notable Alumni: Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford

City: Aberdeen, Scotland

Founder/Co-Founder: Policy Exchange

More Facts

education: Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford

Childhood & Early Life

Michael Andrew Gove was born on August 26, 1967, as Graeme Andrew Logan, in a maternity hospital in Fonthill Road, Aberdeen, Scotland, to a 23-year-old cookery demonstrator. Gove earlier believed that his biological mother was an unmarried Edinburgh student and he was born in Edinburgh.

Following his birth, Logan was put in care. When Logan was four-month-old, he was adopted by Ernest and Christine Gove, an Aberdeen based couple, who changed his name to Michael Andrew Gove. Gove’s adoptive father had a fish processing business while his adoptive mother worked at the Aberdeen School for the Deaf and thereafter as a lab assistant at the University of Aberdeen.

Gove lived with his parents and sister, Angela, in a small property in the Kittybrewster area of the city where he was brought up until his family relocated to Rosehill Drive. He attended Sunnybank Primary School and Kittybrewster Primary School before studying at the Robert Gordon's College.

His adoptive parents were supporters of the Labour Party. In 1983, Gove joined the party and campaigned for it during the 1983 general election. He also became associated with Causewayend Church as a Sunday school teacher. As his family was facing economic difficulties, Gove applied for a scholarship after entering sixth year and cleared the scholarship exam.

He joined Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, in 1985 and read English there till 1988. He switched allegiance and became a member of the Conservative Party during such tenure. He became part of the Oxford University Conservative Association and served as Secretary of Aberdeen South Young Conservatives. He assisted in writing speeches for Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet ministers like Michael Howard and Peter Lilley. He got introduced to Boris Johnson, future British Prime Minister, in his first year and campaigned for Johnson during the latter’s run for President of the Oxford.

Gove later served the position in 1987-88 during his Hilary term. He graduated in 1988 and applied for a job at the Conservative Research Department, however after being told that he was insufficiently political and insufficiently Conservative, Gove commenced a career in journalism.

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Career in Journalism

Gove cleared an interview with Max Hastings and found work on the Peterborough column of The Daily Telegraph, Finding it difficult to continue his career in London, Gove returned to Aberdeen where he joined The Press and Journal as a trainee reporter. During his tenure there, he took part in a four-month strike in 1989-90 as a member of the National Union of Journalists.

He served as a reporter at Scottish Television from 1990 to 1991 with a short break in-between when he worked with Grampian Television. In 1991, Gove stepped into national television. He worked for the BBC One aired political series On the Record; hosted the Channel 4 aired programme of topical monologues, A Stab in the Dark (1992); and in 1994 joined the BBC Radio 4 aired morning news and current-affairs radio programme Today. His connections within the Conservative Party led him to break the news of the 1995 Conservative Party leadership election. He also featured as a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4 aired live discussion programme The Moral Maze and on the discussion programme Newsnight Review on BBC Two.

He was inducted as a leader writer by The Times in 1996 and held office as the newspaper’s news editor, comment editor, assistant editor and Saturday editor. He also wrote one of its weekly columns on politics and current affairs. Other journalistic pursuits of Gove included contributing to the magazines Prospect and The Spectator, and to the literary review The Times Literary Supplement. He also occasionally contributed to the right-leaning cultural and political magazine Standpoint. He authored a biography of British journalist, broadcaster and former politician Michael Portillo. He made a highly critical analysis of the Northern Ireland peace process in his 2000 published book The Price of Peace.

Gove re-joined The Times in October 2016 as a weekly columnist and book reviewer. During his tenure there, Gove went to the US to cover campaign rallies during the upcoming 2016 US presidential election. In January 2017, he gave the first British post-election interview to Donald Trump as a writer for The Times.

Political Career

Gove was founding chairman of the April 29, 2002, formed London based right-wing, British Conservative think tank, Policy Exchange. He was elected as Member of Parliament for Surrey Heath in the May 5, 2005 held general election and was appointed Shadow Minister for Housing and Planning. Gove has been reported to be a member of the Notting Hill Set, an informal group of young Conservatives who were considered to have held leading positions within the party or close advisory positions around Prime Minister, David Cameron.

He was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet on July 2, 2007, and was made the Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families. In such capacity, Gove advocated to set up Swedish-style free schools and introduce a Swedish-style education voucher system.

A hung parliament following the 2010 general election led to formation of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government. Thereafter Gove was made Secretary of State for Education and assumed office on May 12, 2010. Initial moves of Gove in such capacity included restructuring the department, declaring proposals for permitting those schools to become academies which were rated by Ofsted as Outstanding, and ending Building Schools for the Future programme made by previous Labour government. The National Public Database was opened by Gove who also came up with a reading test, the phonics check, for year 1 students. The A-Level and GCSE qualifications were also reformed by him in favour of final examinations. He garnered criticism from teachers unions and academic associations for his endeavours in remodelling British education. In 2013, motions of no confidence were passed against Gove’s policies by National Association of Head Teachers, National Union of Teachers, Association of Teachers and Lecturers, and the NASUWT during their conferences. While serving the position Gove also responded to the Trojan Horse scandal.

On July 15, 2014, during cabinet reshuffle Cameron dismissed Gove from his position as Secretary of State for Education and made him Chief Whip of the House of Commons. The new role that came with a £30,000 pay cut was seen by many as a demotion, however Cameron rebuffed such case.

Following the 2015 general election, Gove was promoted as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain in the newly formed cabinet of Cameron. In such position Gove scrapped the courts fee and removed the 12-book limit on prison books, both of which were introduced by his predecessor Chris Grayling. Gove also remained instrumental in discarding a British bid for a Saudi prison contract.

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Although Cameron announced that he would campaign for Britain to remain in the EU and was under the impression that Gove would also support such stance, the latter along with Boris Johnson, then a Conservative MP, emerged as prominent figures of the campaign for Britain to leave the EU during the 2016 referendum on EU membership. Gove was appointed co-convenor of Vote Leave in March 2016 along with Labour MP Gisela Stuart.

After losing the national referendum to leave the EU, Cameron announced on June 24, 2016, that he would resign as Prime Minister. Gove, initially not a candidate for the 2016 Conservative Party leadership election following Cameron’s decision to step-down, served as campaign manager for Johnson. The latter was considered front runner in the election by political analysts. On June 30, 2016, Gove however withdrew his support for Johnson without apprising Johnson of such move, and declared his own candidacy. Following this Johnson chose not to run in the election. Theresa May won the election while Gove finished third.

After May became Prime Minister, she removed Gove from the post of Secretary of State for Justice on July 14, 2016. He was elected to the Exiting the European Union Select Committee in October that year.

Following the 2017 general election, Gove was inducted as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the second May ministry. During such tenure of Gove, ban was made on ivory trade, use of microbead and use of bee-harming pesticides like neonicotinoids; and laws concerning animal welfare were introduced.  The Wild Animals in Circuses Bill was introduced by Gove in May 2019 to ban travelling circuses from using wild animals.

On May 24, 2019, May announced that she would step down as Leader of the Conservative Party on June 7 and as Prime Minister after a successor had been elected. Following this on May 26, Gove announced his candidature for the Conservative leadership election, however eventually finished third behind Johnson and Jeremy Hunt.

After Johnson assumed office as Prime Minister, Gove was made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. His responsibilities included making preparations for a no-deal Brexit and supervising the Department of Constitutional Affairs among others.

During first large reshuffle of Johnson’s government in 2020, Gove was given the additional role of Minister for the Cabinet Office. The committee of Cabinet ministers that made decisions on COVID-19 pandemic included Gove along with Johnson, Rishi Sunak and Matt Hancock. Gove served as chair of the COVID-19 operations subcommittee. He co-chaired the EU–UK Partnership Council

He was appointed Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on September 15, 2021, during second reshuffle of Johnson’s government. His department was renamed after few days as Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities while his post was renamed as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. Additionally, he was also made Minister for Intergovernmental Relations. He served the two positions till Johnson dismissed him after he advised Johnson to step down as Prime Minister amidst the July 2022 Government crisis. Gove was re-appointed in both the positions after Sunak became Prime Minister.

Family & Personal Life

In 1998, while serving as comment editor at The Times, Gove met British journalist Sarah Vine who was also working there as arts editor. The two married in October 2001. Their daughter Beatrice was born in 2003 and son William in 2004. A joint statement made on behalf of the couple in July 2021 mentioned that they have agreed to separate and are in the process of finalising their divorce. Their divorce was granted in January 2022, on grounds of Gove’s unreasonable behaviour.


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