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Michael Gove in A Feast At Midnight
Michael Gove starring in 1995 film, A Feast At Midnight

Ranking the Tories on how shit they’d be to do drugs with

Welcome to hell

Last week, environment secretary and Tory leadership hopeful Michael Gove caused a furore after admitting he took cocaine ‘on several occasions’ while working as a journalist over 20 years ago. Unsurprisingly, the media has dug into its archives to pull out the drug histories of other Tory leadership candidates, revealing that – shock, horror – a lot of them have broken the draconian laws they happily enforce.

Gove’s admission is particularly rich given he penned a column for The Times in 1999 – reportedly a day after throwing ‘a cocaine party’ in his Mayfair flat – condemning middle-class professionals for wanting to liberalise drug laws, writing: “There is a greater sin than hypocrisy. It is the refusal to uphold values because one may oneself have fallen short of them.”

Addressing accusations of his own hypocrisy, Gove told the BBC: “The point that I made in the article is that if any of us lapse sometimes from standards that we uphold, that is human.” By that measure, we’re seeing white politicians get free passes for doing drugs every so often in their fancy London mansions, while simultaneously encouraging police to stop, search, and prosecute young black Brits for possession.

Despite the fact that several studies have revealed the positive benefits of various drugs in terms of treating mental health disorders and pain management, the Tories still stand by their outdated prohibitionist approach to drug policy. In honour of their admissions, and to absolutely rinse them for their double standards, we rank each Tory leadership candidate on just how shit they’d be to do drugs with. Strap in.

SHIT, BUT GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE POST-NIGHT STORY

DOMINIC RAAB

Former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab apparently likes to get up at the crack of dawn, and has “the discipline of an athlete”; I like to get up late and have the discipline of Michael Gove (no discipline), so for journalistic purposes and with the aim of becoming The Best Me, I’d let a stoned Raab (he claims he’s never taken class A drugs) talk to me about his athletic routine. He would still be shit, of course, partly because he’s a Tory but also because he’s seemingly a men’s rights activist, once declaring: “From the cradle to the grave, men are getting a raw deal.” But given we could have quite a good fight about this – and because he brazenly quit his job after four months of achieving nothing – he gets ranked quite highly.

JEREMY HUNT

Jeremy Hunt initially voted Remain, so despite his spectacular U-turn he’s already got a few starter points. He’s also getting props for having the world’s squarest drug admission – a cannabis-laced yoghurt drink, consumed while backpacking in India. Although this undeniably makes him a gap year bro, you have to respect the fact that he thinks this is a big enough deal to admit in the public press. He’s also categorically ridiculous and a loose cannon, once accidentally pulling the emergency stop cord in a train toilet, and calling his Chinese wife Japanese. I also reckon a coked-up Hunt would join in with chants of ‘Jeremy Cunt’, which would make great fodder for my Instagram story.

YEP, BASICALLY JUST SHIT

ANDREA LEADSOM

Like Raab, Leadsom has admitted to smoking weed while denying ever taking class A drugs. The former Commons leader (who resigned last month) previously ran for Tory leader in 2016, before being pressured to withdraw from the race after claiming she’d be a better candidate than Theresa May because she’s a mother. Clearly a ruthless backstabber, Leadsom probably has some dramatic stories from her girls grammar school in Kent which I’d get a teenage kick out of. However, because she abstained from voting in the 2013 same-sex marriage act, claiming gay marriage causes ‘clear hurt’ to Christians, she goes down in the ranks.  

RORY STEWART

International development secretary – and ‘Tory wildcard’ – Rory Stewart admitted to smoking opium at a wedding in Afghanistan over a decade ago, asserting it had no effect on him because he was walking 30 miles a day (I don’t understand this connection but OK). Living up to his name, I’m giving him wildcard points for being the only one on the list who admitted to something other than coke or weed. Although having watched him interact with other human beings in this campaign video, I don’t think he knows how to actually communicate, meaning he’d be a small talk bore at a party – no thanks.

VERY, VERY SHIT

ESTHER MCVEY

Another Tory who admitted to smoking weed, former secretary of state for work and pensions Esther McVey voted against same-sex marriage in 2013 and believes parents should be able to block their children from learning about same-sex relationships in school before the age of 16. Given she thinks “parents know best”, she’s obviously a rule-following loser (as well as a homophobe), who would probably force you to smoke outside and take your shoes off afterwards so you don’t damage the cream shag carpet.

MICHAEL GOVE

In a BBC clip lasting under three minutes, drug lord and Boris Johnson-backstabber Michael Gove described his cocaine use as a ‘mistake’ seven times, while labelling it a ‘deep regret’ five times. This politician talk would be even more tiresome once Gove has got a couple of lines in him, so to save us both a repetitive conversation – and because he kicked off this whole drama and would probably talk quite proudly about it – I’ll be turning down Gove’s Regret Party invitation. Plus, who would want to mingle with a guy who will happily enforce lifetime bans on teachers caught with class A drugs while doing the stuff himself. A vibe killer IMO.

I’D RATHER STAY AT HOME ALONE FOREVER

BORIS JOHNSON

Given Boris Johnson claims he’s above the effects of drugs – telling GQ in 2007 that coke and weed “achieved no pharmacological, psychotropic or any other effect on me whatsoever” – he’d be a miserable bastard to rack up lines with. Not only has he outed himself as that guy, but he’s also confirmed he’s a pathological liar (either that or someone fobbed him off with tea leaves and washing powder – you would if you could TBF). Even without this tough guy admission, Johnson would undoubtedly be the worst person to do drugs with; the kind of mind-bending wanker who corners you at a party to tell you in great depth about his definitely not racist opinions, and how Brexit actually will free up £350 million for the NHS ‘if you’ll just fucking listen for a minute’.