Leading Conservative politician Michael Gove has responded to claims that his party are in a state of panic over the rise of Ukip by saying “Does this face look bovvered?”
The Government chief whip, who was in the Rochester and Strood constituency on Thursday ahead of the by-election following Mark Reckless’s defection from the Tories to Ukip, was asked whether the Conservatives were in “a state of panic” by a Channel 4 News reporter.
Mr Gove smiled and decided to channel the character of Lauren, a sulky teenager from comedy series, The Catherine Tate Show, who was killed off in 2007.
“I’m tempted to paraphrase that wonderful character from the BBC comedy.… Does this face look bovvered?” he said.
When pressed whether he was “running scared” of Ukip’s rise in the polls, Mr Gove replied with a remark of which Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, would have been proud.
“I’m actually walking to the pub,” he said.
The by-election is due to be held on 20 November, following Mr Reckless’s decision to join Ukip and resign his seat.