Piers Morgan claimed Michael Gove impressed him the most as Conservative leadership candidates officially put themselves forward for the job of leader and Prime Minister on Monday. Five leadership contestants delivered speeches as they outlined what they would do if they were elected as leader of the Conservative Party. Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, host Piers Morgan explained which contestant impressed him the most, branding them “highly intelligent”.
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He said: “Yesterday, there were five launches, of other contenders yesterday. Some better than others, some very theatrical, Matt Hancock.
“But, I actually thought Michael Gove, notwithstanding the barrage about drugs, I thought he had the most professional launch.
“I thought he sounded intelligent, he played up his experience, in several big departments.
“And opinion divided, but one thing people say about Gove and it has certainly been my experience, he is highly intelligent, certainly got the experience over most of the other contenders I would say.
“He probably has a slight issue in terms of relatability to the public.
“But, in terms of his general capability for the job of Prime Minister, because we need somebody good in this job”.
Later, the Good Morning Britain host added that Mr Gove’s ability to bounce back from criticism over taking cocaine 20-years ago, and handle the pressure, shows “leadership skills”.
He said: “What I thought was impressive about Michael Gove was the way he took it all on yesterday and it didn’t look like it phased him or knocked him off course. That in itself shows me leadership skills.”
Five Tory leadership contestants launched their campaigns on Monday as they put themselves forward to take over from Mrs May.
Environment Secretary Mr Gove, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab and former work and pensions secretary Esther McVey all delivered speeches on how to take the country forward.
Mr Gove has faced criticism during his bid for the top job after he admitted to the use of class A drug, cocaine, 20-years ago.
During his speech on Monday, Mr Gove took a swipe at fellow candidates saying the new leader needs to be someone who has been “tested in the heat of battle” and not one who has been “hiding in their bunker”.
Regarding Brexit, Mr Gove said it was “not enough to believe in Brexit you’ve also got to be able to deliver it”, insisting he has “a proper plan”.
This week candidates the 10 candidates will take part in Conservative Party hustings, before the first ballot on June 13.
Candidates will need to win five percent of the vote (a total of 17 MPs) to move on to the next round – if they don’t, they’ll be eliminated from the race.
A second ballot for leader will then take place between June 18 and June 20, where MPs will need to secure 10 percent of the vote (a total of 33 MPs) to stay in the race.
The final pair of candidates will begin hustings events in front of paid-up Conservative Party members, before the final vote from members on July 22.