Michael Gove tells of admiration for Nick Clegg





Education Secretary Michael Gove said he "hugely admired" Nick Clegg as he raised the possibility that the Tories would hold back in the fight for some Liberal Democrat seats at the next election.





He said Mr Clegg had shown "courage" in backing the Government's decision to introduce tuition fees of up to £9,000 a year, adding that he had "shown the hallmark of a leader".



Speaking at a fringe meeting at the Conservative party conference in Manchester, Mr Gove said he admired aspects of Tony Blair's tenure, describing his reaction to the 9/11 terrorist attacks as "exemplary".



He said he also respected some Labour MPs like Frank Field, who has campaigned against child poverty, and Kate Hoey, who has advised London Tory Mayor Boris Johnson on the implementation of the Olympics.



Asked by Channel 4 political editor Gary Gibbon about the decision to form a coalition at the last general election, Mr Gove said: "I admire Nick Clegg hugely.



"He took an enormous risk for his party and he did so because he believed it was in the national interest to do so.



"Of course the parliamentary arithmetic meant a (Con-Dem) coalition was more sustainable than a number of other options he had. I think, and as Conservatives we have to recognise this, that there are frustrations of being in a coalition. I would rather that we had a majority Conservative government because of the things that we want to do faster or more energetically or in a slightly different direction but we can't do because we are in a coalition.



"Nick Clegg said 'we are going to be with you to the end of deficit reduction', and there has been no wavering from any Liberal Democrat ministers and indeed noises from any Lib Dem MPs, and secondly I think Nick Clegg's courage on higher education was the hallmark of a leader."



Mr Gove said he thought the coalition would last until 2015, but that come the next election some seats would not be as fiercely contested as others.



He added: "I think we (the coalition) will go for the full distance and then there will be an election and then we will fight.



"Of course I want as many people as possible to vote Conservative and where there is a Liberal Democrat standing, and there is a chance of a Conservative winning, (I hope) that the Conservative wins.



"But that's the Liberal Democrat take as well - I want my party to win. But inevitably there will be a different quality to that fight and I am not just talking about the Liberal Democrats. Kate Hoey is someone I hugely admire. I think the seat that she represents will always be Labour. There is a Conservative candidate there, I don't think he is selected at the moment, and I will campaign for that Conservative candidate.



"But I can't honestly say that I am sorry that Kate is in the House of Commons and I can't honestly say that my heart would be in it if I was campaigning against Kate as it might be if I was campaigning in Morley and Outwood against Ed Balls.



"I am member of the Conservative party but I am also someone who makes judgments about human beings and there are some members of the Labour party, Frank Field is another ... who are decent people.



"The question of priorities and resources is for the party chairman. My view is that you should go all out to win as many seats as possible but I don't think you should confect hatred or disdain where it doesn't exist."

PA

News
peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
Voices
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits