Sarah Vine Uses Her Daily Mail Column To Make Leadership Pitch On Behalf Of Husband Michael Gove

"What kind of grown man can't load the dishwasher?"

Tory leadership contender Michael Gove may not have won over all of his Conservative colleagues in his quest to replace Theresa May.

But he can certainly count on the support of one person: his wife Sarah Vine.

We are not usually ones to pick up on the wives or husbands of those in the public eye, but, on Wednesday, Vine used her Daily Mail column to make a leadership pitch on behalf of her husband.

In the 1,600-word essay, she espouses the environment secretary’s apparent suitability for the job.

Vine lauds Gove’s “Euroscepticism [that] is as deeply ingrained in him as his love for the United Kingdom” and the “patience, diligence, conviction and, yes, compromise” which she claims her husband “has in spades”.

Vine, who has two children with Gove, in one eyebrow-raising paragraph also sets out the Cabinet ministers “flaws”.

”...a fondness for corduroy, an inability to go anywhere (including dinner) without a book, a passion for Wagnerian opera, an obsession with Strictly, an entirely irrational dislike of houseplants and, of course, the usual pathological male inability to operate a dishwasher.”

Needless to say, the article has provoked a reaction on political Twitter.

On Wednesday, Brexit minister James Cleverly became the 11th MP to put themselves for ward to be next Tory leader and PM.

The other candidates include Matt Hancock, Andrea Leadsom, Esther McVey and Rory Stewart.

Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, whose 2016 bid for leadership Gove was said to have scuppered, is the favourite to win.

Candidates must be nominated by at least two Conservative MPs.

The list of candidates will be whittled down to a shortlist of two in a series of votes by Conservative MPs.

MPs’ votes should be concluded by the end of June, the party has said.

The final pair then go to a postal ballot of all party members, with the position of leader – and prime minister – going to the victor.

A new leader will be in place for July and is likely to set out a new policy agenda at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester starting on September 29.