10 things we learned about Michael Gove from his wife this morning

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By Katie King on

Don’t give him quiche


Daily Mail readers were offered an intriguing insight this morning into the domestic life of our Lord Chancellor.

Since taking up the post, Michael Gove seems to have done the near impossible task of righting the many wrongs of his predecessor — ex-Justice Secretary and all round pantomime villain Chris Grayling. Having scrapped the much-hated dual legal aid contract system and the criminal courts charge, lawyers seem pretty pleased with the former journalist and Surrey Heath MP.

And it’s possible they’ll like him even more after today’s revelations. Courtesy of Sarah Vine — Daily Mail journalist and the Lord Chancellor’s wife — readers have been given exclusive, behind the scenes access to Gove’s personal life (not for the first time at that).

Today’s revelations are contained in an article focusing on hubby’s seeming angst in choosing which way to swing in the EU referendum debate. Gove really hates the EU, so much so that Vine recalls a friend of hers “expressing surprise” that he fell for an Italian girl like her. Though his beliefs are unequivocal, Gove was fearful of disappointing the Prime Minister, an avid Bremain campaigner and a good friend of the couple, if he spoke out.

It’s a gripping personal struggle: do you stick to your guns or appease your friends? It’s a good read, if not a little un-PC at times (Vine tells readers that, in a time of crisis, “any sensible wife” would “spring-clean the house”, and makes a few unreconstructed observations that have raised a couple of eyebrows on Twitter).

But the best bit about the article is its intensely personal nature. We’ve learnt a couple of things about our Justice Secretary that we didn’t know yesterday. Here are Legal Cheek’s favourites:

1. Houseplants

He has an “irrational aversion” to houseplants.

2. Quiche

The “irrational aversion” also applies to quiche.

3. Double dates with BoJo and Wheeler

The couple went on a double date last week to Boris Johnson and Marina Wheeler’s “stylishly dishevelled drawing room”.

4. Europe

He loves Europe, especially the vineyards of Bordeaux.

5. Obsessions

His “odd and occasionally irritating obsessions” include obscure American presidents, Wagner and second-hand bookshops.

6. Penal reform

He has a passion for penal reform, and “was shaken to his core” by some of his prison visits.

7. Beano

When he was the age most kids would be reading the Beano, he was “nagging his parents for a subscription to The Spectator”.

8. EU book worm

In the run up to the referendum, he has read obscure books about the EU by the likes of David Butler and Uwe Kitzinger, but Vine knew the couple were “in for a rough ride” when she caught him reading War and Peace.

9. Armchair

He has a “favourite armchair”, and his wife has a “lady shed”, where she keeps the couple’s wedding photos.

10. Wedding guests

Sixty odd people went to the couple’s wedding in the South of France, including outspoken feminist author Caitlin Moran and the Camerons.