School of Politics and International Relations

Michael Gove, British PM hopeful: 'I deeply regret' taking cocaine

10 June 2019

This weekend, Michael Gove admitted to taking drugs on several occasions when he was a "young journalist" two decades ago. He called it a "mistake" that he "deeply" regrets. In the United Kingdom, the addictive and expensive powder is usually considered the drug of choice among the privileged. Tim Bale, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University of London, said Gove's alleged use of it "might reinforce the idea of the millionaire conservative." Professor Bale, added: "I feel it is difficult to believe this will be a career-terminating event because there are so many other contenders who experimented when younger with soft or hard drugs." The mixed response might be due to a move toward "more honesty and authenticity" in political campaigning, Bale said, adding that politicians are navigating an environment where the ease of sharing information online could be making it difficult for politicians to "bolt the door" on past indiscretions.

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Professor Bale also spoke to The Japan Times about May’s leadership