Michael Gove: Prime minister push ‘driven’ by adoption

Environment minister Michael Gove. Picture: Peter Summers/Getty Images
Environment minister Michael Gove. Picture: Peter Summers/Getty Images
Share this article
Have your say

Conservative leadership contender Michael Gove has indicated that his drive to be prime minister is fuelled by a desire to show his parents they were right to take the “risk” of adopting him.

In a highly personal interview, the Environment Secretary said he did not try to find his birth mother because it might seem like his adoptive parents were not complete parents to him.

He told BBC Radio 4 podcast, Political Thinking with Nick Robinson: “I am amazed, in a way, that given everything, that I now find myself in the position that I’m in.

“I was adopted, spent the first four months of my life in care.

“And, I think that my parents in choosing to adopt me, were taking a risk. They didn’t know what they were getting into in a way.

“They gave me everything. In my life I want to prove to them that the risk they took, the chance they took on me, was the right one.

“And, I can prove that there are things that I am doing that show that I appreciate the sacrifices that they made and I am trying to demonstrate to them that it was worth it.

“And that I can do worthwhile things, and that I can give them reason to believe that their choice was right.

“At this time, I think I’m ready to be prime minister, and knowing that I have loving parents who have given everything to make sure that I have had the best possible start in life makes me feel that now I can put something back.”

Mr Gove said he had not tried to find his birth mother.

He said: “I have always felt that it might seem as though I was saying they were somehow not the complete parents who have given me everything that they could, so that has been the reticence.”

In an apparent criticism of US President Donald Trump’s stance on Iran, Mr Gove said: “I think that sabre rattling of the kind that some have advocated is not the way forward.”

Mr Gove said he was a big fan of Game Of Thrones and that Tyrion Lannister is his favourite character.

He said: “It is a gripping drama that surprises you. There’s a character that you think ‘he’s going to be the hero, or she’s wonderful’, and then – voomph – suddenly no more.”

Mr Gove was born in Edinburgh and was adopted by a family in Aberdeen, where he was brought up.