Michael Andrew Gove (born 26th August 1967) is a British politician of the Conservative Party who was Secretary of State for Education from 2010 to 2014 and Secretary of State for Justice from 2015 to 2016. He became Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the cabinet reshuffle on 11 June 2017. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Surrey Heath since 2005. He is also an author and a columnist for The Times.
Born in Edinburgh, Gove was raised in Aberdeen and attended Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, where he took a BA in English, graduating with an upper second, after which he began his career as a journalist. He was first elected to the House of Commons in the 2005 election for the safe Conservative seat of Surrey Heath. He was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet by David Cameron in 2007 as Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families.
After the formation of the Coalition Government in 2010, Gove was appointed Education Secretary. Gove sought to expand the academies programme introduced by the previous Labour Government. At its 2013 conference, Gove was criticised by the National Association of Head Teachers, whose members condemned the "climate of bullying, fear and intimidation" they said he had created during his time as Education Secretary, and passed a vote of no confidence in his policies. Votes of no confidence were passed by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, National Union of Teachers and NASUWT at their conferences in 2013.
In a 2014 Cabinet reshuffle, Gove was moved to the post of Chief Whip. Following the 2015 election, Gove was promoted to the office of Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor. In 2016, Gove played a major role in the UK's referendum on EU membership as the co-convenor of Vote Leave and along with Boris Johnson, became a key figurehead of the campaign.
On 30 June 2016, Gove, who was campaign manager for Boris Johnson's drive to become Prime Minister, withdrew his support on the morning that Johnson was due to declare, and announced his own candidacy in the leadership election. In the first round of voting, Gove came third to Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom. He was eliminated from the leadership race on the second ballot on 7 July 2016. Following her appointment as Prime Minister, May did not appoint him to the Cabinet on 14 July 2016; however, he returned to the Cabinet following the 2017 General Election as Environment Secretary.