‘Insane’ to skew policies towards wealthy, says Michael Gove

Tory leadership contender Michael Gove has said it is “insane” to have policies skewed towards the wealthy, before calling rival Boris Johnson’s tax proposal “mistaken”.

The Environment Secretary said candidates should be judged on their qualities in office and not on their backgrounds, as he fended off further questions about his past cocaine use.

His fellow Brexiteer Mr Johnson, the current front-runner in the race to become prime minister, has pledged a tax cut for workers earning over £50,000.

Being interviewed on Tuesday, Mr Gove said: “You can come from my own background but if your priorities seem to be skewed towards the already fortunate in society that’s insane.”

Pressed at The Times CEO Summit on whether he was discussing Mr Johnson’s tax proposals, Mr Gove was received with laughter when he replied: “I wasn’t thinking of any one particular candidate, but I do think his tax proposals are mistaken.

“I think that there are two tests that I would apply to any tax cut. Does it par economic growth and does it help the most disadvantaged in our society?

“A tax cut that concentrates on helping the wealthiest pensioners most of all is not a tax cut which either improves productivity or generates a greater level of social equity.”