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Sarah Vine’s leaked email to Michael Gove over Boris Johnson fears - read it in full

Message accidentally sent by columnist Sarah Vine to a member of the public

Will Worley
Thursday 30 June 2016 10:36 BST

A leaked email from Michael Gove's wife, Sarah Vine, has provided a rare insight to the internal politics at play in the Conservative leadership contest.

The message, which was mistakenly sent to a member of the public, appears to raise concerns over Boris Johnson as new Tory party leader.

The correspondence also references two powerful media figures and talked of how to manipulate their support.

Read the leaked email in full:

"Very important that we focus on the individual obstacles and thoroughly overcome them before moving to the next. I really think Michael needs to have a Henry or a Beth [Mr Gove's media advisers] with him for this morning's crucial meetings.

"One simple message: You MUST have SPECIFIC assurances from Boris OTHERWISE you cannot guarantee your support. The details can be worked out later on, but without that you have no leverage.

"Crucially, the membership will not have the necessary reassurance to back Boris, neither will [Daily Mail editor Paul] Dacre/[Rupert] Murdoch, who instinctively dislike Boris but trust your ability enough to support a Boris Gove ticket.

"Do not concede any ground. Be your stubborn best.


Former Mayor of London Boris Johnson is widely tipped to be the next leader of the Conservative party. Michael Gove, justice secretary, was a loyal sidekick to him throughout the referendum campaign, and is now in a crucial position as a result.

But the path to Number 10 is far from clear.

Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb and former defence secretary Liam Fox have both launched their own party leadersahip campaigns.

However, Home Secretary Theresa May is widely thought of as the main challenger to Mr Johnson.

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