Michael Gove jerked Westminster out of its mid-afternoon recess snooze on Tuesday with a Leveson appearance that made even Tony Blair look nervous.

Unlike nearly every other witness seen by the judge, the education secretary offered unashamed praise of Rupert Murdoch and stood by his sharp criticism of the basis for the whole inquiry itself.

With his characteristic long winded style, the close ally of the prime minister impressed Tories and irritated critics alike with his use of Latin and frequent historical references while those who are not his greatest fans conceded he had put in an impressive performance.

Christopher Home of the Daily Telegraph:


Christopher Hope
is sure to be trending in Westminster soon after his Leveson performance

Patrick O'Flynn of the Daily Express:


Patrick O'Flynn
Big move by Gove at Leveson today. In a thinned-out field he will become Tory leader-in-waiting.

Martin Bright of the Jewish Chronicle:


Martin Bright
I like Michael Gove. There, I've said it. Don't always agree with him but he is a man of principle.

Mary Ann Sieghart of the Independent


Mary Ann Sieghart
Michael Gove is one of the few people I know who thinks and speaks in fully formed paragraphs. V impressive.

Dan Sabbagh of the Guardian


Dan Sabbagh
Gove has done a good job to control the Inquiry today. Leveson will have to deal with Gove whenever judge's report comes to cabinet.

While Paul Goodman over at Conservative Home notes that if Gove wants to stop the leadership talk "he will have to work hard at not being articulate, intelligent, forceful (though faultlessly polite) and able to make a case both built on first principles and founded in personal belief".