Wednesday 21 March 2018

Gove firm favourite to head Tory party after David Cameron

British Justice Secretary Michael Gove. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
British Justice Secretary Michael Gove. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Laura Hughes

Michael Gove has stormed ahead as the voters' favourite to become the next leader of the British Conservative Party, the latest survey has revealed.

For the second month running, a poll of Conservative members by the ConservativeHome website has found the Justice Secretary and Brexiter well ahead of his nearest rivals.

As many as 70pc of people who took the poll declared support for a Leave campaigner.

In January, Theresa May was top of the list before she was overtaken by the former Defence Secretary Liam Fox in February.

Last month, Gove took the lead and this month extends his position at the front of the race by five points.

It comes amid speculation that David Cameron could be forced to make Mr Gove his deputy after the EU referendum.

A cabinet minister told the 'Financial Times' last month: "Gove is the key."

Another said: "There's a lot of talk about Michael becoming deputy prime minister in a unity reshuffle. That might make a lot of sense."

The question of who will replace Mr Cameron was first initiated by the prime minister himself after he declared that he would not serve a third term.

George Osborne, who has backed the prime minister's EU renegotiation, only received 8pc of this month's vote.

Some 31pc of those surveyed said they would want Mr Gove as the next leader, while 14pc support the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who has dropped two points since the last poll.

Paul Goodman, editor of the ConservativeHome website, said: "The justice secretary is clearly seen by our party members as the pro-Leave cabinet member who is performing most powerfully in the campaign.


"The Mayor of London has sometimes looked less sure-footed - deploying the bludgeon against Barack Obama when a scalpel might have served better - and his total falls slightly, though not by enough to suggest any real difference."

Irish Independent

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