Elizabeth Anderson: Gove is the man to deliver for Britain

Michael Gove has announced that he will run for the party leadership, and I suspect that many people will be delighted.  When the Sky News alert buzzed my phone on my commute in to work, I couldn't wait to share the news.

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There is something wonderfully steady, logical and principled about Michael Gove.  He sticks to his beliefs.  He doesn't blow with the wind.  There isn't meaningless fluff.  He's not a PR man.  He consistently stood at the top of ConservativeHome polls on the leadership until he said that he would not be going for the top job, and will doubtless be back there very quickly.

People paid attention to him as Education Secretary because he set out to achieve something, and he wouldn't be swayed.  His focus was on bringing an academic focus back to education, setting high expectations, and wanting children and young people to achieve.  He saw nothing wrong the basic principle that there was a notion of success or of failure.  Soft subjects such as hair-dressing could not replace the critical importance of fundamental skills such as maths and English.  He made tough announcements which didn't go down well all the time with the teaching profession - but he stood by them, and he didn't waver.  He had a goal and he wanted to achieve it.  And if he hadn't been shuffled, he would have continued to make change that many believe would have led to ever increasingly better results for the country’s next generation, at a time when companies continue to complain that British school leavers and graduates lack the skills that are needed for employment.

In his new role as Justice Secretary he didn't hang around, already announcing radical changes such as reforming prisons. He has developed a clear vision within his new role. 

And as a key leader (and Co-Convener) in Vote Leave, he understood the spirit of what the public wanted.  When so many leaders - on all sides of politics and both sides of the referendum debate - were out of touch with public views and perceptions, he appealed to the man and woman on the street, their concerns, and spoke with clarity on what might be achieved and the benefits to our country.  Yes Boris was a key figure too, and they were a good team.  But Boris has already started to falter, and it is a very different proposition leading the United Kingdom in Brexit to championing London as Mayor. 

If there is anyone who can deliver what the voters sought when they put their cross next to "Leave", it has to be Gove. He has been dogged in defending the UK's interests, and not giving in at the first sign of push back from Europe.  And, moreover, he has the wisdom to be able to build a team around him who can deliver what the public want - including Conservative Remainers and Labour Leavers.


*These are the views of Elizabeth Anderson and do not represent the corporate view of CWF.

 

Elizabeth Anderson is a committed Conservative from south east London, and has held a number of positions in the voluntary and youth wings of the party. She works for a prestigious institution in London, and became involved in politics with the aim of spreading Conservative values.

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