UK News

Michael Gove elected to Brexit select committee

Michael Gove (left) has been elected to a Brexit scrutiny committee. Picture by Stefan Rousseau, Press Association
Arj Singh and Shaun Connolly

LEADING Brexit campaigner Michael Gove has been elected to the cross-party committee of MPs which will scrutinise Britain's exit from the European Union, Tory sources confirmed.

Eight of the 10 Tory seats on the committee will be filled by Leave campaigners and three by former Cabinet ministers, including Mr Gove.

Labour Remain campaigner Hilary Benn will chair the extra-large committee that will scrutinise the work of David Davis' Brexit department

To be made up of 21 MPs, including 10 Tories and MPs from six opposition parties, it will be almost double the size of the average committee of 11 members.

The Brexit-backing Tories on the committee are: Mr Gove, former culture secretary John Whittingdale, former Cabinet minister Peter Lilley, Maria Caulfield, Andrea Jenkyns, Karl McCartney, Craig Mackinlay and Dominic Raab.

Alistair Burt and Jeremy Lefroy are the Remain-backing Tories.

The position will boost Mr Gove's profile following his spectacular fall from grace since the EU referendum, before which he campaigned vociferously for a Leave vote alongside Boris Johnson.

Following the vote and David Cameron's resignation as prime minister, Mr Gove backed Mr Johnson for the Tory leadership before abandoning the Foreign Secretary's campaign and deciding to run himself.

His move, widely portrayed as a betrayal, effectively torpedoed Mr Johnson's chances of becoming PM.

Mr Gove was then sacked as justice secretary when Theresa May became Prime Minister and is now serving on the backbenches.

Meanwhile, Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell is warning that the Tories want to create a "Bankers' Brexit" that nobody voted for.

Mr McDonnell is insisting the Tories are only interested in cutting "sweetheart" deals for the banks and big business, while ignoring the needs of manufacturers and small firms.

The shadow chancellor is warning an audience at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers that the Government wants to advance "backdoor privatisation" of the NHS via a Brexit deal similar in scope to the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) proposed agreement between the EU and US.

"Already, Tory Cabinet ministers are looking to cook up special deals for their friends in the City of London. They want a "Bankers' Brexit", in the interests of an elite few, not the majority," he is insisting.

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