Is Gove a good green or a ‘pure political calculator’?

“It seems to me now, in this role, I have the opportunity to write a new chapter,” Michael Gove told a roomful of green advocates shortly after becoming environment secretary in summer 2017. That new chapter, he explained, presented a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to protect the environment and enhance the countryside.

Gove is now sitting second place in the race to become the UK’s next prime minister, following Theresa May’s decision to step down. Fellow Brexiteer and former ally Boris Johnson is currently the favourite to win with Jeremy Hunt running a close third, according to the latest polls.

But if Gove should leave DEFRA for Downing Street, would he leave behind a strong environmental legacy? Commentators are divided.

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