Boris Johnson asked if Michael Gove was ‘a bit cracked’, claims Cameron

Boris Johnson asked whether Michael Gove was "a bit cracked" after the Brexiteer betrayed him during the 2016 Tory leadership race, David Cameron has said.

The Conservative former prime minister recalled the fraught battle to replace him in Number 10 in his memoir, which is being serialised in The Times ahead of its publication on Thursday.

Mr Gove initially supported Mr Johnson's campaign but then dramatically withdrew his backing and announced he would stand himself – leading the now-PM to quit the contest.

Michael Gove
Michael Gove (Liam McBurney/PA)

As Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Mr Gove is now responsible for no-deal Brexit preparations in Mr Johnson's Government, and the revelation could put pressure on his relationship with the PM.

The 2016 leadership battle was eventually won by Theresa May, and Mr Cameron revealed in the book how he secretly encouraged Gavin Williamson to help her campaign, according to The Times.

In extracts from the book published over the weekend, Mr Cameron took aim at Mr Gove, describing him as a "foam-flecked Faragist".

He said Mr Johnson wanted to become the "darling" of the Tory party and "didn't want to risk allowing someone else with a high profile – Michael Gove in particular – to win that crown".

Mr Cameron said the Prime Minister "didn't believe" in Brexit and only backed the Leave campaign to further his career.

"The conclusion I am left with is that he risked an outcome he didn't believe in because it would help his political career," he wrote.

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