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Boris Johnson has been warned by senior Tories to stop listening to Michael Gove on Covid policy amid concerns that he has been pushing too hard for restrictions over Omicron.

Current and former Ministers singled out the Levelling Up Secretary as a ‘dangerous force’ inside the Government after Mr Johnson suffered the biggest Commons rebellion of his premiership and lost the North Shropshire by-election earlier this month.

Some have privately issued warnings to the Prime Minister to stop relying on Mr Gove, and to move advisers who are allied to him out of the heart of Government.

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson

Michael Gove

Michael Gove

Boris Johnson has been warned by senior Tories to stop listening to Michael Gove on Covid policy amid concerns that he has been pushing too hard for restrictions over Omicron

One senior Conservative MP described Mr Gove as the ringleader of pro-lockdown Ministers and said: ‘There are a lot of my colleagues who think Mr Gove has become a very dangerous force within the Cabinet.’

One Cabinet Minister also branded him ‘the octopus’ because he gets so involved in the matters of others in Government.

MPs point to Mr Gove’s personal relationship with the Prime Minister to explain his influence on Covid policy. 

One said: ‘Gove makes him feel comfortable. Boris trusts him, and he think he’s the one who delivers.’ 

But the MP added: ‘Boris needs to stop listening to Gove. Never trust someone who has stabbed you in the back.

‘Caesar killed everyone who crossed him but forgave Brutus – and Brutus killed him.’

Mr Gove has been one of the most consistently pro-lockdown members of the Cabinet since the pandemic began.

Some have privately issued warnings to the Prime Minister to stop relying on Mr Gove, and to move advisers who are allied to him out of the heart of Government

Some have privately issued warnings to the Prime Minister to stop relying on Mr Gove, and to move advisers who are allied to him out of the heart of Government

Some have privately issued warnings to the Prime Minister to stop relying on Mr Gove, and to move advisers who are allied to him out of the heart of Government

One insider said: ‘He took such a strong position on restrictions during the first and second waves that it is ingrained in him that this is what we need to do.’

Last night an ally of Mr Gove rejected the criticism, saying: ‘Yes Boris speaks to Michael – because he’s the most effective Cabinet Minister. So what?

‘But Michael is not seeing the data, he’s not in the quad [of senior Ministers]. There is a limit to what he can do on this.’

Source: Daily Mail

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