Now Theresa May has announced she will resign, Conservative candidates are tripping over themselves to throw their hats in the ring. Some are household names, some are mavericks but ultimately, only two will get through to the Conservative membership.
It goes without saying, literally any Conservative candidate, of the candidates so far announced, would make a better prime minister than Jeremy Corbyn.
I am incredibly confident about the future of the Conservative Party. As a party we are fortunate to have such a wide pool of talent from which we can pick our next leader; this stands in stark contrast to many of the other established political parties.
Whoever gets elected as the next Conservative leader, they need to inject some much-needed dynamism to the party, offer fresh ideas and a fresh perspective. For me, the right man for the job is Michael Gove.
I would be remiss to not mention the big issue on everyone’s mind – the dreaded B-word... Boris, but Brexit. As MP George Eustice wrote in the Sunday Times, it is not enough to merely believe in Brexit, our next leader needs to unite the party behind a comprehensive policy platform that can actually deliver Brexit.
Michael Gove not only led the intellectual arguments for the Vote Leave campaign, but also has consistently voted to deliver Brexit in Parliament. If more MP’s voted the same way Michael Gove did, we would already be out of the EU.
It feels like I have been yelling into the void when I keep saying that the Conservative Party is much more than just Brexit and Michael Gove has the fresh ideas to inject some much-needed dynamism back into the Conservative brand, to see us through Brexit and beyond.
His record in Government as a reforming Cabinet Minister is unmatched. As Education Secretary he restructured the national curriculum and led the academisation revolution of schools. It is in part because of Gove’s reforms that we are seeing more children in good or outstanding schools than ever before!
After the 2017 General Election, Michael Gove returned to cabinet bringing with him his unparalleled reforming instinct to Defra. In a Parliament dominated by Brexit, some of the Government’s finest policy proposals have come out of Michael Gove’s department and the comprehensive 25-year plan for the environment deserves a special mention.
A necessity for the next leader will be an ability to unite both the divide in the Conservative Party, but more importantly the divide in the country. I believe Michael Gove is ready to lead. His pitch is simple and effective – he is the best person for the job.
Even at this early stage in the campaign Team Gove is formulating bold policy proposals. In an incredibly generous, welcome gesture, Michael Gove would offer European nationals living in the UK the chance to become British citizens at no cost if he becomes Prime Minister.
With this, the £1,330 naturalisation fee would be waived as a gesture of goodwill. For the three million EU citizens living in the UK this move will be incredibly welcome and shows how much more of a welcoming, forward thinking country Britain will be with Michael Gove at the helm.
I set out my own personal “guide” including what qualities a leadership candidate must have to win my support, as you can see below. Michael Gove is one of the only candidates who, in my opinion, meets all these requirements.
The Conservative Party is an unstoppable electoral force when we are united, motivated and have a clear core message. Just look at the passion Michael Gove inspired in the House of Commons chamber with the conclusion of the no confidence vote last year.
Michael Gove’s performances at the dispatch box are unmatched, outclassing even the most experienced of opposition MPs. Michael Gove’s experience as a Parliamentarian speaks for itself, he is the only candidate uniquely placed to unite both the remain and leave sides of the Conservative Party.
MPs are slowly coming forward announcing who they are backing. Under the Conservative leadership rules, MPs will determine the final two candidates who make it onto the final ballot. It will then be down to Conservative Party members to decide our future leader.
MP endorsements matter a lot, but so too does the ability to win support from members, activists and supporters. Of all the candidates announced, Michael Gove has the dynamism to really energise the party base; appealing to the next generation of young Conservative activists.
In my opinion, as a young LGBT Conservative Party activist, Michael Gove is the guy who has the fresh ideas that will resonate with the next generation; who can move our party forward and win the General Election which will take place after Brexit.
Every leadership contender has their attributes, but Gove has both the rhetoric and the ideas needed to unify our divided country; a unity built through strong and principled Conservative leadership.
For the reasons I have outlined above the choice is clear; it has got to be Gove.