Michael Gove handed responsibility for ‘United Kingdom governance’ in new role
Michael Gove has been handed responsibility for “United Kingdom governance” in his new role as Secretary of State for Levelling Up following last week’s reshuffle.
The change by Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirms that the new ‘Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ will handle the promotion of and maintenance of the Union.
“The Secretary of State will have responsibility for United Kingdom governance and elections,” Number 10 said.
“He will therefore also take on the additional title of Minister for Intergovernmental Relations, working closely with the Territorial Offices and leading coordination with the devolved administrations on the Prime Minister’s behalf.”
Michael Gove had been fulfilling a similar role of chairing meetings involving the Welsh and Scottish First Ministers in his previous role as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, to the extent that he had been called the de facto First Minister of England.
The new role comes despite the Independent’s unearthed recording revealed last week in which Michael Gove appeared to say that the south of England was favoured by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government of the day over the north.
“We are at last experiencing a new empire, an empire where the happy South stamps over the cruel, dirty toothless face of the northerner,” he said.
‘Build back better’
Michael Gove said that he was “thrilled” to be asked by the Prime Minister to led the Levelling Up agenda which he called “the defining mission of this Government”.
“With a superb team of ministers and officials in a new department, our relentless focus will be on delivering for those overlooked families and undervalued communities across the United Kingdom,” he said.
“We have a unique opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives.”
Boris Johnson added: “This Government is committed to uniting and levelling up every part of the UK and I am determined that as we build back better from the pandemic we are geared up with the teams and expertise to deliver on that promise.
“Andy is uniquely qualified to lead our efforts to raise living standards, spread opportunity, improve our public services and restore people’s sense of pride in their communities. I look forward to working with him, and with my new ministerial team, to deliver the opportunities this country needs.”