Search icon


08th Jun 2019

Michael Gove admits to taking cocaine on ‘several social occasions’

Wayne Farry

michael gove

Gove is the latest senior Tory to admit to taking drugs

Tory leadership hopeful Michael Gove has admitted to taking cocaine “on several occasions” earlier in his life.

The admission comes as Theresa May resigned from her position as leader of the Conservative party, though she will remain as prime minister until her successor is chosen.

Gove, formerly a journalist, admitted to drug use at social functions during his 20s.

“I took drugs on several occasions at social events more than 20 years ago,” he told the Daily Mail. “At the time I was a young journalist. It was a mistake. I look back and I think, I wish I hadn’t done that.

When asked whether he felt that this admission should affect his chances of becoming leader of the Tories, Gove said: “It was 20 years ago and yes, it was a mistake. But I don’t believe that past mistakes disqualify you.”

While the admission may colour certain people’s opinions of Gove, his Tory leadership rival Dominic Raab praised his honesty in an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today, saying: “I certainly don’t see it barring him from this race in any way. I rather admire his honesty.

“I’m not going to cast any further aspersions on Michael or anyone else who is just honest about being human and doing the things that some young people do – not everyone, obviously – and holding their hand up and saying: ‘I got that wrong, move on’.”

Raab, who is also definitely not trying to get down with the kids, has admitted to using cannabis in the past, as has another Tory rival, Rory Stewart, who admitted taking opium while attending a wedding in Iran.

“It was a long time ago and pretty few and far between. I have never taken cocaine or any class-A drugs,” said Raab.

Gove’s admission comes ahead of the release of a book about him by Owen Bennett entitled Michael Gove: A Man in a Hurry, which details Gove telling Tory advisers that he had used cocaine during the 2016 Tory leadership contest.