If it oiks like a Gove, it probably IS a Gove
So after the Sun claimed yesterday that “QUEEN BACKS BREXIT”, I observed “It is believed that the occasion when Her Maj and Nick Clegg had their discussion was a lunch at Windsor Castle on April 7, 2011. Also present was Michael ‘Oiky’ Gove, faithful Murdoch servant, anti-EU campaigner, and experienced leaker of information. As to who might have leaked to the Sun, well, I’ll just leave that one right there”.
Indeed, this morning the Telegraph - good to see the folks at Victoria trying to keep up - has named Gove as prime suspect for the leak. I’ll go further: Gove isn’t just the prime suspect, he is undoubtedly the source of the Sun story, and in leaking the Queen’s confidence has shown to whom he is most loyal - Rupert Murdoch, who is using the controversy to brag to his new Sheila and show he is still strong.
And I’ll go yet further: at first, this was seen as an act of desperation by the Out campaign. It may not have been, and for this news we have the Sun’s deeply unpleasant editor Tony Gallagher to thank. He told the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme “We knew much more than we published, and that remains the case. There is not just one occasion when these views were aired. There was a second occasion when she expressed similarly scathing views about the EU at Buckingham Palace”. Shall we decode that?
We certainly shall: Gallagher is letting slip that he has more ammunition to fire at the monarchy, the Remain campaign, David Cameron, and anyone else who fails to give tribute at the court of Don Rupioni. The story splashed yesterday, on its own, should have been held back for the last week of the campaign. But it is not a story on its own.
Michael Gove may look like a figure of fun - indeed, he is a figure of fun - but he is also an experienced journalist whose access to the Queen via the Privy Council has clearly been used to generate lots of stories which he can wheel out later. If Her Maj thinks that yesterday’s episode was the only breach of her confidence, she will in the coming months discover otherwise. Her trusted minister will have it all written down for later use.
Gove was the leaker. His ultimate loyalty lies to a foreign billionaire. End of story.