Michael Gove’s racist and homophobic comments made as a student have been unearthed
He also made classist remarks about northerners calling them ‘dirty’ and ‘toothless’
A series of audio clips of Michael Gove making sexist, racist, homophobic and classist comments whilst at Oxford Uni have been unearthed.
In the collection of audio clips, The Independent revealed Michael Gove also joked about paedophilia within the government at the time he was speaking.
Apparently Gove made these remarks in an attempt of being funny. In one of his so-called jokes, he’s also heard referring to people colonised by the British as “fuzzie wuzzies” and accused a former Tory minister, Sir Leon Britain of being a pedophile.
Gove also made a string of sexual jokes at the expense of Tory minister, Lucy Frazer, in his speeches at the Cambridge Union back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1993 Gove made a speech where he said Lucy Frazer, who invited him to speak at the time, was “actually capable of tempting me into bed with her”. He also implied that one college’s entire rugby club had group sex with her. He then referred to her “preference for peach-flavoured condoms” and said she had done “remarkably well” to come from “the back streets of the slums of Leeds”.
In 1987, when Gove was in his final year at Oxford University and president of his debating society, he described the economist John Maynard Keynes as a “homosexualist”. Gove said: “Many of us are familiar with the fact that homosexuals thrive primarily on short-term relations. Those of us who’ve spent hours in New York bath houses will realise that in one night you can pack in 15 loving relationships and 300 one night stands and still be none the worse for wear.”
Then again in 1987, Gove read a classist speech where he referred to northerners as “toothless” and celebrated Margaret Thatcher’s harsh treatment of them. He said: “We are, at last, experiencing a new empire: an empire where the happy south stamps over the cruel, dirty, toothless face of the northerner.”
More recently in 2017, when making an appearance on the BBC Today programme, Gove joked live on air that being interviewed by presenter John Humphrys was like going into Harvey Weinstein’s bedroom – “You just pray that you emerge with your dignity intact.” He then later apologised saying it was a “clumsy attempt at humour”.
Apologies for my clumsy attempt at humour on R4 Today this morning -it wasn't appropriate. I'm sorry and apologise unreservedly
— Michael Gove (@michaelgove) October 28, 2017
The Liberal Democrats have called out Boris Johnson, claiming he should consider whether Gove should remain in the cabinet following his past comments. Wendy Chamberlin, a Lib Dem MP, says: “Michael Gove should be ashamed that he ever thought these things, let alone said them. These inappropriate and racist remarks are not befitting of a government minister, not befitting of a journalist, in fact not befitting of anyone.
“The prime minister should consider whether this is the type of person that deserves to be sat around the cabinet table. However, given Boris Johnson’s own history of disgraceful remarks, I expect this will be another shameful issue he lets go unchallenged.”
People on Twitter have been responding to Gove’s comments. One person said: “And these are the people in charge of running the country. I’m not surprised. Makes sense why some policies enacted affect the very groups Gove talks about in his speeches disproportionately.”
Another person said Tory’s don’t face any repercussions for their immoral actions or statements. They tweeted: “I seriously can’t believe people like him get away with saying things like this and doing what they do. There’s no repercussions for any action or immoral statements.”
I seriously can’t believe people like him get away with saying things like this and doing what they do. There’s no repercussions for any action or immoral statements.
— Kyle Murray (@kylemurray100) September 13, 2021