Tory minister claims Michael Gove ‘not racist or homophobic’ after offensive speeches unearthed

Michael Gove and Ben Wallace

Defence secretary Ben Wallace has insisted that Michael Gove is “not racist or homophobic in any way”, after his history of homophobic, racist and sexist remarks was unearthed in a series of recordings.

This week multiple recordings of Gove making offensive “jokes” during speeches at the Cambridge Union when he was a student in the late 1980s and after he had graduated and was working for the BBC in the early 1990s were revealed by The Independent.

In the recordings Gove, who was promoted to housing secretary in Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday (15 September), can be heard claiming “homosexuals thrive primarily on short-term relations”, describing Margaret Thatcher creating “an empire where the happy south stamps over the cruel, dirty, toothless face of the northerner”, and making sexual and misogynistic comments about then Cambridge Union president and now-Conservative MP and minister of state for prisons Lucy Frazer.

He also said that the British empire could be described as “moral” because “the fuzzy-wuzzies can’t look after themselves.” The term “fuzzy-wuzzy” is a derogatory slur for a Black person.

Michael Gove has neither apologised for, nor commented on, his racist, sexist and homophobic comments at the Cambridge Union

Since his comments were exposed, Michael Gove has not apologised, nor offered any comment on the recordings at all.

When asked by presenter Sky News presenter Niall Paterson why Gove was avoiding questions on the topic, Ben Wallace insisted that his colleague would be happy to comment.

Paterson asked: “You may well think that this does not affect his ability to remain in the cabinet, but isn’t it about time we heard from Michael Gove something of an apology for the use of that language?”

But Wallace insisted that Gove had never been “shy of appearing on media rounds”, and added: “He is very, very good, formidable performer and I’m sure you can put those questions to him.”

He continued: “Fundamentally I know Michael. He’s not a racist, he’s not homophobic in any way at all. He is in fact a great reforming minister in this government.”

As part of his promotion, Michael Gove is now also responsible for Boris Johnson’s much-feted “levelling up” agenda.

Since the recordings were revealed by The Independent, Michael Gove has not responded to PinkNews‘ requests for comment.