June 10, 2019 / 2:56 PM / 4 months ago

PM candidate Gove taunts Boris - 'Don't pull out'

Britain's Environment Secretary Michael Gove speaks at the launch of his campaign for the Conservative Party leadership, in London, Britain June 10, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) - Michael Gove, one of the candidates vying to succeed British Prime Minister Theresa May, on Monday admitted he had made a mistake by taking cocaine 20 years ago and taunted his rival Boris Johnson.

When asked repeatedly about his admission that he had taken cocaine when he was a journalist, Gove said it had been a mistake and that he should be judged on his record as a minister.

Gove, one of the highest-profile Brexit campaigners during the 2016 referendum, scuppered Johnson’s 2016 leadership bid by withdrawing his support at the last moment to run himself.

Speaking about Johnson on Monday, Gove said Britain needed a serious leader and quipped:

“If I get through, which I am sure I will actually, to the final two against Mr Johnson, this is what I will say to him: ‘Mr Johnson, whatever you do, don’t pull out, I know you have before, and I know you may not believe in your heart that you can do it, but the Conservative Party membership deserve a choice’.”

Reporting by William James and Kylie MacLellan; writing by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden

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