Damian announced on Saturday his support for Michael Gove MP in the election for the next leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister.
“The next Prime Minister has to do two sets of things. First: deliver Brexit, craft our new relationship with Europe and set our place in the wider world. Secondly: construct a compelling domestic agenda for the whole United Kingdom that spreads opportunity, grows wages, and continues the improvement of our public services. Michael Gove has the mix of abilities to do both.
“He is totally committed to Brexit and the new opportunities it brings - he has demonstrated that amply. But he’s not willing to gamble with people’s livelihoods and their children’s prospects, or the integrity of the UK, in pursuit of a simplistic soundbite solution. From his time at Defra he understands both the downsides and restrictions of EU membership, and how much better it would be to leave with a deal. He will take a sensible approach that delivers absolutely on the referendum result, and that works for British businesses and people’s jobs.
“As Education Secretary I have seen the transformative impact that his reforms have had. Some of those reforms were hard to push through but he stuck with it and the results have been dramatic. When he came into this job a third of children were in schools last rated less than good; when I started this job that figure was down at 1 in 7. And he measured everything not only in terms of effect on raising the average, but by how much it narrowed the gap in chances between disadvantaged children and those from a privileged background. And that gap has narrowed at every stage: pre-school, primary, GCSE and more disadvantaged young people going to university than ever before. He will apply that same approach on a wider scale as Prime Minister, to move the whole country forward together, ensuring no one and nowhere is left behind.”