It had been reported yesterday (15 November) that the Environment Secretary was offered the role after fellow Brexiteer Dominic Raab quit as Brexit Secretary.

But Gove is said to have rejected the offer after being told he would not be able to renegotiate the terms of the PM’s draft deal with Brussels.

A source close to Gove said that Gove would stay on in his current role and help colleagues to “ensure the best outcome for the country”.

Gove has previously been supportive of May’s Chequers deal, and is said to have played a crucial role in strengthening the PM’s position at the emergency Cabinet meeting in Downing Street on Wednesday.

It is thought that Gove was offered the Brexit job in a last-ditch attempt by May to strengthen herposition amid a wave of resignations. 

Gove has been something of a revelation at Defra since given the role after the 2017 snap General Election. Presiding over the Department’s 25-Year Environment Plan, Gove has been a central figure in the Government’s plan to eliminate avoidable plastic waste. He has ushered in a ban on bee-harming pesticides, and consistently reiterated a desire to deliver a new independent watchdog as a centrepiece reform to ensure a “Green Brexit”.

George Ogleby

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