Michael Gove’s NUJ past

THE Aberdeen Evening Express carried a two-page spread last night on the early life and times of the Government’s new Education Secretary, Michael Gove, who was brought up in the Granite City.

However, there was no mention in the article on Gove’s stint as a graduate trainee reporter on the Evening Express’s stablemate, the Press and Journal.

Perhaps it be because the young Gove, fresh from Oxford University, was one of the NUJ strikers in the infamous year-long dispute at Aberdeen Journals in 1989 which led to more than 120 journalists, including Gove, being sacked.

However, Gove ’s strike experience has been picked up by the media, courtesy of the Surrey Advertiser recently carrying a big story on his picket-line stint along with a picture of him among a group of his NUJ colleagues, holding a placard saying, ‘NUJ official picket – don’t cross’

Gove is the Tory MP for Surrey Heath.

It seems people are keen on playing down Gove’s role in anything mildly controversial.

Gove was discussed on BBC TV’s Andrew Marr programme on Sunday, but one-time Tory party spin doctor, Amanda Platell, now a Daily Mail columnist, was incorrect to say Gove had gone to a grammar school.

He attended the fee-paying Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen. After being sacked by Aberdeen Journals, he went on to work for Channel 4 and The Times before taking up his career in politics.

He is married to journalist, Sarah Vine.