Gove says ‘democracy demands’ MPs back Brexit deal after election losses

Michael Gove has issued a renewed plea for MPs to back Theresa May’s deal, claiming the Tories’ local election losses were because the party has “not yet delivered Brexit”.

The Environment Secretary argued that “democracy demands” that MPs vote for the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal and urged politicians from all parties to “unite to respect the referendum result”.

Speaking in his home city of Aberdeen, Mr Gove claimed that the withdrawal agreement “does recognise the hopes and concerns of Remainers and Leavers alike”.

Reflecting on the local election results which saw the Tories suffer net losses of 1,269 seats, he said: “If local elections down south tell us anything, they remind us that referendum verdicts must be honoured.

“Lots of hardworking Conservative councillors lost their seats because Parliament has not yet delivered Brexit.”

Scottish Conservatives’ party conference
Scottish Conservatives’ party conference

Talking up Mrs May’s deal, the leave campaigner added: “It enables us to leave the EU, while safeguarding essential interests and liberating us to enjoy new opportunities.

“I am all too aware of how hard the Prime Minister has worked and how dedicated she has been to secure a good Brexit deal.

“Which is why I hope that when Parliament returns, that MPs from every party will unite to respect the referendum result and back the deal. That is what democracy demands.

“And then we can concentrate on uniting our country behind the vision of a brighter future and restore trust to our politics.”

In a highly personal speech at the Scottish Conservatives conference, Mr Gove spoke about how being adopted drives his political ambition.

Scottish Conservatives’ party conference
Scottish Conservatives’ party conference

He said: “From the moment I arrived, my parents gave me unconditional love. They gave me everything.

“As my mother said when she explained to me the circumstances of my adoption: ‘Son, you didn’t grow under my heart, you grew in it.'”

“My parents are the reason why I am in politics,” he added.

“I want to show them the chance they took and the love that they gave in choosing me has, in the end, worked out. I want to repay their kindness and love by doing whatever I can to help make others’ lives that wee bit better.

“And just as they gave me the chance to choose my future, I want to ensure that everyone has the ability to determine their own destiny. To be the author, and the editor, of their own life story.”