Boris Johnson ‘lines up Michael Gove to replace Priti Patel as Home Secretary’ if migrant boat crisis continues to escalate
- Michael Gove is tipped to replace Priti Patel as Home Secretary, sources said
- PM has grown frustrated with the failure to stem boats crossing the Channel
- It would give Mr Gove the Great Office of State, but would infuriate Ms Patel
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove is being tipped to replace Priti Patel as Home Secretary if the migrant boat crisis continues to escalate, sources have said.
The Prime Minister has grown increasingly frustrated with what he regards as the Home Office’s failure to stem the wave of boats crossing the Channel, telling one Minister: ‘What the f*** is the Home Office doing? When is she [Priti] going to sort this out?’
Boris Johnson and Mr Gove, who have spent much of the past decade engaged in a private political psychodrama, are once again close allies.
This has been helped by the elevation of Mr Gove’s former aides Henry Newman and Henry Cook – who are close friends with Mr Johnson’s wife Carrie – to key positions in Downing Street.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove (pictured) is being tipped to replace Priti Patel as Home Secretary if the migrant boat crisis continues to escalate, sources have said
Mr Gove has also severed relations with Dominic Cummings, his former adviser, who has been waging a public briefing war against Mr and Mrs Johnson.
He has told friends that he is concerned about Mr Cummings’s mental state after he gave an interview in which he claimed Mr Johnson had told him that his partner was driving him ‘crackers’ and suggested finding her ‘a job with lots of foreign travel’.
A source said: ‘Michael made clear that he doesn’t think that it is Boris or Carrie who is crackers.’
Mr Johnson’s frustration over the migrant boats crisis is shared by many Tory MPs – particularly those in the Red Wall seats of the Midlands and North, who say it keeps being raised ‘on the doorstep’.
The Prime Minister has grown increasingly frustrated with what he regards as the Home Office’s failure to stem the wave of boats crossing the Channel. Pictured: Priti Patel
A move to the Home Office would give Mr Gove the Great Office of State he craves, but would infuriate Ms Patel.
Following reports that Mr Johnson might move her to the role of Party Chairman, Ms Patel made clear privately that she would resist the move.
A source said: ‘Michael and Boris are close again – with Rishi [Sunak, the Chancellor] starting to flex his muscles in Cabinet more, it is useful for Boris to have Michael back as an ally.
‘The Home Office is a demanding job, but Michael has the brain power and the work ethic to cope with it.’
A source close to Mr Gove said: ‘Michael is totally focused on the job the PM has asked him to do in Cabinet Office – helping to co-ordinate our response to Covid, reforming Government and strengthening the union.’
A No 10 spokesman said: ‘We don’t comment on reshuffle speculation.’
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