The levelling up minister Michael Gove was mocked when he utilised a succession of weird voices in response to deadly serious questions about what the government planned to do about the cost of living crisis. It would appear there might, however, have been some method to his madness.
I hear his old friend and sometime special adviser Henry Newman had advised him to be more of “a character” in his television appearances. “Henry recognises that Michael’s always going to look like a rather quirky old boffin and that he might as well run with it,” whispers my informant. “When he had told him to use funny voices and gesticulate, he almost certainly didn’t mean that he should do so in such a serious context, or, for that matter, so badly and unamusingly.”
Sharon Sawyers, the head of comms at Gove’s levelling-up department, was not amused by her boss’s performance and may well now feel she has a bone to pick with Newman.