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'I'll serve under any Conservative leader', Kemi Badenoch backer Michael Gove says
18 July 2022, 18:34 | Updated: 17 May 2023, 09:32
Michael Gove denies Badenoch backing 'a clever plot'
Kemi Badenoch backer Michael Gove today told LBC he will "serve in any government of any Conservative leader".
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Mr Gove, speaking on Tonight with Andrew Marr, refused to rule out serving as a Cabinet minister under Rishi Sunak, saying he would serve under any future leader of the Tory party "who asks me to".
"Whether or not they will, we will see, but I'm not counting on it.
"The key thing here is, I worked with Penny, Rishi is a friend of mine, Tom Tugendhat is a friend of mine, and Liz I've known for years, she was a great junior minister when I worked with her.
"I don't wish anybody ill, I just think Kemi's the best."
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Mr Gove also denied claims he is backing Kemi Badenoch as part of a "clever plot" to ensure Rishi Sunak becomes the next Prime Minister.
Asked about Steve Baker's suggestion Ms Badenoch's campaign would "fold into Rishi Sunak" at the last minute, Mr Gove said: "He's wrong about that.
"I've been involved in leadership elections, backing David Cameron, running myself twice unsuccessfully, it doesn't work like that.
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"MPs make their own minds up.
"There are friends of mine who might listen to what I have to say but there are friends of mine who have said 'we like her but we're going to support another candidate Michael' and I completely understand."
He added: "It's just not true."