Boris Johnson’s political ally Michael Gove is being considered as a replacement for Priti Patel at the Home Office as the prime minister reportedly grows increasingly more concerned with the department’s failure to stem the flow of illegal migrants entering Britain via the English Channel.
The rumour, published in today’s Mail on Sunday, would see Michael Gove rewarded for severing ties with Johnson’s former aide Dominic Cummings and handed one of the Great Offices of State.
This site reported in June on the comments reportedly made by Johnson to a government minister who asked: “What the f*** is the Home Office doing? When is she [Patel] going to sort this out?”
Priti Patel’s department has overseen two years of record arrivals via the Channel, with over 10,000 already reaching British shores in 2021 and estimates suggesting that figure could reach upwards of 30,000 by the end of the year.
A source told the Sunday newspaper: “Michael and Boris are close again – with Rishi [Sunak] starting to flex his muscles in Cabinet more, it is useful for Boris to have Michael back as an ally.
“The Home Office is a demanding job, but Michael has the brain power and the work ethic to cope with it.”
Sources close to Mr Gove have insisted he is “totally focused on the job the PM has asked him to do in Cabinet Office – helping to co-ordinate our response to Covid, reforming Government and strengthening the union.”
A No 10 spokesman said: “We don’t comment on reshuffle speculation.”
The migrant crisis is quickly becoming one of the most talked about political issues of the summer, with latest polling revealing that Brits support tougher pushback from authorities on those entering the UK illegally.
36% of Brits “strongly support” sending the migrants back to France in addition to 28% who merely “support the idea”. That’s compared to tiny minorities of just 5% who strongly oppose the idea and 9% who oppose it.