Gove’s race, sexist and gay jibes as a student
Minister also joked about paedophilia in speeches
MICHAEL Gove made racist and homophobic comments and joked about paedophilia in speeches made when he was in his 20s, it emerged yesterday.
He also described Prince Charles as a ‘dull, wet, drippy adulterer’ in talks at the Cambridge Union.
The offensive remarks, made while he was a student at Oxford and after his graduation while he was working as a journalist, were supposed to be humorous.
He referred to people colonised by the British as ‘fuzzy wuzzies’ and joked that former Tory minister Sir Leon Brittan was a paedophile. He also made a string of sexual jokes at the expense of Lucy
‘The slums of Leeds’
Frazer, a former president of the Cambridge Union who is now a Tory justice minister, according to recordings of the talks uncovered by The Independent.
Mr Gove, who has been tipped for promotion to Foreign Secretary or Home Secretary in an expected reshuffle, claimed gay people ‘thrive primarily upon short-term relations’.
Elsewhere, the Cabinet Office minister described Margaret Thatcher’s policies as a ‘new empire’ where ‘the happy South stamps over the cruel, dirty, toothless face of the Northerner’.
Mr Gove made the comments, which were met at the time by cheers, and shouts of ‘shame’, at three evening debates at the Cambridge Union in the winter of 1987 in February 1993 and in December 1993. He was working on a nowdefunct BBC politics programme in 1993, and also performed on Channel 4’s short-lived comedy programme Stab in the Dark.
In 1987, when Mr Gove was in his final year at Oxford University and president-elect of the Union, he said: ‘It may be moral to keep an empire because the fuzzy-wuzzies can’t look after themselves.’
He added that ‘Eton took the cream of the colonial system, it took fettered foreigners and it turned them into gentlemen’.
‘Fettered’ is a term that is used to describe people, often slaves, who have been restrained with chains. In February 1993, Mr Gove made a number of comments about then European commissioner Sir Leon, implying that the former home secretary was sexually interested in young boys.
Sir Leon was targeted by Scotland Yard’s disgraced Operation Midland VIP sex abuse inquiry before being cleared. He died in 2015. In December 1993 Mr Gove made a speech at the Cambridge Union in support of the motion ‘this house prefers a woman on top’. He boasted that Miss Frazer was ‘actually capable of tempting me into bed with her’. He then said she had done ‘remarkably well’ to come from ‘the back streets of the slums of Leeds’.
Wendy Chamberlain, the Liberal Democrat chief whip, told The Independent: ‘The Prime Minister should consider whether this is the type of person that deserves to be sat around the Cabinet table. However, given Boris Johnson’s own history of disgraceful remarks, I expect this will be another shameful issue he lets go unchallenged.’
Mr Gove and Miss Frazer declined to comment.
A source said the comments were made in jest in a forum that encouraged controversy.