Michael Gove lined up to become presenter on News UK’s Times Radio

Exclusive: MP and former minister may also write articles for the Times newspaper, according to sources

Michael Gove is expected to begin a new life as a radio presenter after being lined up to become a host on Times Radio.

Not content with disrupting the Conservative conference with his criticisms of Liz Truss’s tax plans, the former cabinet minister is to have his own show on national radio – while remaining a member of parliament.

He may also write pieces for the Times, according to sources at Rupert Murdoch’s News UK, which owns both the newspaper and its associated radio station.

Neither Gove nor News UK would comment on the job, which is likely to require approval from the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, the organisation that regulates which jobs can be taken by former government ministers.

Gove made his name as a journalist on the Times and has a strong relationship with its proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, whom he joined for an interview with the then US president, Donald Trump, in 2017. Despite rumours in Westminster WhatsApp groups over the summer that Gove could become the editor of the Times, that job went to the newspaper’s deputy Tony Gallagher.

The move suggests Gove is not planning an immediate return to frontbench politics. Originally a key ally of David Cameron, the pair fell out when Gove helped run the victorious 2016 Vote Leave campaign to leave the European Union.

Gove then twice ran for the leadership of the Conservative party, only missing out on making the final ballot in 2019 by two votes. Boris Johnson eventually asked Gove to return to government in a variety of roles, only to sack him in one of his final acts as prime minister.

Gove’s Times Radio show is expected to go out on Friday nights, replacing that of Michael Portillo, who has departed to present a show on GB News. Earlier in his career Gove wrote a biography of Portillo.

Several media outlets were thought to have approached Gove about jobs since he was sacked from his most recent cabinet position, meaning he could demand a healthy pay deal. Any income he receives while remaining as MP for the Surrey Heath constituency will have to be declared in the register of members’ interests. He has denied that he intends to stand down from parliament at the next election, although his seat is a key Liberal Democrat target.

The news came as Johnson made his first appearance on the lucrative US speaking circuit, earning about $150,000 (£132,000) for a short address to a group of insurance brokers.

Times Radio is continuing to make substantial investments in hiring new staff, having taken on a number of people from the BBC with the promise of more money and freedom. It has recently poached Jane Garvey and Fi Glover from the national broadcaster to bolster a daytime lineup that includes John Pienaar, Matt Chorley, Aasmah Mir, Stig Abell, and Mariella Frostrup.

The station, which is believed to be loss-making, was originally pitched as a promotional tool to get people to pay for the Times’s profitable paywalled subscriptions. Times Radio currently reaches about 570,000 listeners a week, compared to the 10.9 million who tune in to BBC Radio 4.


Jim Waterson Media editor

The GuardianTramp

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