Rachel Johnson has launched into a scathing attack on Michael Gove, describing him as a “Westminster suicide bomber” and a “political psychopath”.
Mr Gove shocked fellow Conservatives when he announced his decision to stand in the party leadership race at the eleventh hour on Thursday. The Justice Secretary had been widely expected to throw his weight behind fellow Leave campaigner Boris.
“Michael Gove is the man who has said many times that he is prepared to put his principles before his friends, that he will sacrifice anything and anyone on the high altar of his ideology,” Rachel said.
“But he must see, after what he has done, that he is now cast in the public mind not as a heroic man of conviction, but as a sort of Westminster suicide bomber, whose deadly belt of explosives has been detonated not by his own hand, but by his own wife.”
"However much Gove tries to remind us what a nice, caring guy he is in his long leadership pitch, the ‘signalling’ around this personable and civilised candidate is, I’m afraid, that he’s acted like a political psychopath," she added.
Rachel criticised Mr Gove for going back on his long-time insistence he did not want to be Prime Minister. Throughout his political career, Mr Gove has frequently said his political colleagues were far better “equipped” for the role than him and he lacked the capability to lead the country.
“Michael Gove knifed Boris Johnson in the back and in the front,” she said.
“Pushed him under a bus, ran over him several times (thank you Piers Morgan for this image) and then declared he was running for the leadership himself.”
Rachel was an outspoken supporter of the Remain campaign throughout the EU referendum and argued the Conservative leadership campaign was now serving as a distraction from dealing with a post-Referendum strategy.
A representative for Mr Gove did not immediately respond to request for comment.
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