Gove omits Brexit in list of top Conservative achievements in power

Jacob Rees-Mogg lists three ‘huge’ Brexit benefits

Brexit was one of the achievements of the Conservative government ignored by Michael Gove when he was asked to list them at the National Conservatism conference in Westminster.

The Communities and Levelling Up Secretary was one of the leading figures in Vote Leave who helped deliver victory in the EU referendum in 2016.

But despite “getting Brexit done” with Boris Johnson in 2019, Mr Gove did not name it as one of the greatest achievements of the Conservative government.

The senior cabinet minister was in conversation with the Telegraph’s Madeline Grant at the three-day conference.

Near the end of the interview she pushed him on what Conservatives had done for the UK since winning back power in 2010.

Mr Gove highlighted Universal Credit – welfare reform by Iain Duncan Smith which “made work pay…and came into its own during the pandemic with Therese Coffey.”

He then talked about education reforms which he also initially oversaw during the Coalition Government.

Mr Gove singled out schools minister Nick Gibb pointing out that England is now in the top four in the world in some outcomes.

He also praised his longterm friend and ally Sir John Hayes, who was an education minister, and had been “a voice in the wilderness talking about technical education” which has now come to fruition.

Mr Gove also talked about the work of his own department and “levelling up” praising both former Chancellor George Osborne and ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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Mr Gove said he was proud of the UK’s response to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia leading the way on helping President Zelensky resist Putin’s forces.

But there was no mention of the biggest change delivered since the Second World War – Brexit.

It comes at a time when Tory MPs have been concerned that the Government is pulling back on Brexit opportunities.

Last week, Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch ditched plans to get rid of thousands of EU regulations.

A number of Tory MPs claimed that Mr Gove was behind her decision to reverse government policy.

In contrast to Mr Gove, Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who spoke at the conference on Monday, celebrated Brexit in her speech.

She said that “love of country” was essential to being a Conservative and pointed out that she is “a proud spartan” who resisted Theresa May’s compromise deals.

There have also been concerns that the UK has surrendered to the EU on Northern Ireland with the Windsor Framework.

The retreat was so bad that former Brexit Party leader Nigell Farage this week claimed that “Brexit has failed.”

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