Michael Gove ‘gets stuck in Commons toilet’ on first day in new job as Chief Whip
Former Education Secretary apparently wasn't aware a vote was happening, got trapped in a toilet - and missed his first ever Commons vote in new role
Michael Gove’s first day on the job as David Cameron’s Chief Whip did not quite go according to plan yesterday after the newly appointed minister “got stuck in the toilet” at the Commons.
The former Education Secretary’s misfortune was revealed today by the Shadow Leader of the Commons, Angela Eagles, who explained to MPs that Mr Gove “hadn’t had the most auspicious of starts” in his new role.
Ms Eagles said that Mr Gove “not only lost his first vote but he managed to get stuck in the toilet in the wrong lobby and he nearly broke his own whip”.
It later emerged that Mr Gove had been using the toilet on the “aye” side of the Commons when a vote was called in the chamber.
As Chief Whip, it is now his responsibility to get MPs to vote the way the Coalition wants them to – so MPs said it was “odd” he didn't know about the motion brought by Labour’s Alison McGovern.
Mr Gove ended up stopping in the toilet to speak to a Labour backbencher, and by the time he realised what was happening he had no choice but to stay there until the votes were cast.
The doors to the Commons are locked eight minutes after a vote is called, and if he had left at that point he would joined the side that was against his own Government.
Speaking to politics.co.uk, the MP and education committee member Bill Esterson who bumped into Mr Gove explained how he engaged him in “a bit of a chat”.
“I nipped into the toilet and he was finishing, so to speak, and stopped to talk to me,” Mr Esterson said.
“He stopped to apologise to me for missing our select committee appearance that morning because of his change of job - he was due to talk to us about our inquiry on extremism in Birmingham schools.”
Aside from the embarrassment of having to twiddle his thumbs in the toilet while the vote went on, Mr Esterson said it was “a bit odd” he was in the wrong lobby at all, adding: “You would have thought the chief whip wouldn't have been in that situation. He was a little careless.”
The former Foreign Secretary and now Coalition Leader of the Commons, William Hague, made light of the incident at Parliament today, joking: “Knowledge of who is in the toilets in whatever lobby is a very important piece of information for any chief whip and I take this as evidence that he was carrying out his duties very assiduously.”
Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way
Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat
Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down
- 1 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery claims: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 2 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 3 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 4 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Australian jihadist Abdullah Elmir vows Isis will fight 'until black flag is on the top of Buckingham Palace'
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery claims: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Chicago voter tells Obama 'don't touch my girlfriend' – Obama stays super smooth
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
£30000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Data Analyst - Lon...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + competitive OTE: SThree: Progressive in Manchester...
£20000 - £22000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chel...
£8 - £9 per hour: Randstad Education Chester: We are currently recruiting for ...