Former journalist Michael Gove awkwardly dodges question about journalists walking out of No 10

Greg Evans
Tuesday 04 February 2020 11:15
news

Michael Gove has attempted to dodge questions during a BBC Radio 5 Live appearance about the journalists who walked out of a Brexit press briefing at Downing Street on Monday.

A number of high profile reporters like the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg and ITV's Robert Peston left the meeting after it was revealed that journalists who were not on number 10's hand-picked list would not be allowed in.

Labour has compared such tactics to those employed by the Trump administration, which has regularly barred reporters from attending briefings at the White House.

Gove, as a former journalist, was asked by 5 Live's Nicky Campbell what he would have done in that situation where he still working in the industry.

In reply, the cabinet minister said:

Well, I wasn't so I don't want to...

Campbell wasn't having any of that and cut Gove off to say:

That's not good enough.

I'll give you a quote from 1980 where you backed the 'bedraggled and noble trade because journalism was the pursuit of truth. Without truth, democracy dies in darkness. I love and admire journalism. Much like nappies, politicians have to be changed often and generally for the same reason.'

Let me ask you the question and give me an honest answer because you are a journalist and no doubt, one day, you will be a journalist again. 

Would you have joined your colleagues and walked or would you and Mrs Gove have been the only two there, like Mr and Mrs?

Gove then gave a very safe answer:

I wasn't in the room at the time so I won't pass judgment until, of course, I've heard from all the people who were.

Campbell then reiterated Gove's passion for journalism with the Tory debating the date of the previous quote as he was 13 in 1980. Campbell then clarified that the quote was attributed to Gove as being from the 1980s, which Campbell called an 'excellent swerve.'

Gove then went on to accuse Gove of being sexist for bringing his wife, who is a journalist, into the issue before essentially repeating his previous statement.

Gove then faced an almost identical question on Kay Burley's show on Sky News where he insisted that he was happy to talk about any other subject and did another great job of dodging the question but did tell a story about how he did stand with his peers when he was a student journalist.

Gove, who was clearly doing the media rounds on Tuesday, was conspicuous from Good Morning Britain something that Piers Morgan wasn't happy about and laid into not just Gove but other members of the cabinet.

Either way, people were not impressed with Gove's answers on the issue.

HT Mirror

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