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Sarah Vine reveals the Gove household reaction to Brexit: ‘you were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off’

Since Leave triumphed in the EU referendum, there have been growing concerns that the Brexiteers were not suitably prepared for success at the polls. As well as no clear plan of action, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have been uncharacteristically quiet since the result came in.

Happily Gove’s wife Sarah Vine has now filled us in on what the Justice Secretary has been up to over the past few days. In her Daily Mail column, Vine reveals that the first she heard of the result was near 5am on Friday when Gove was woken up from his slumbers by a phone call:

‘I was just drifting back to sleep when my husband’s mobile rang. Fumbling, he picked up the call. I could hear every word.

“Michael?” an excited, if slightly weary, voice said. “Michael, guess what? We’ve won!” Thus began the strangest, maddest and, without a doubt, most surreal few days of my life.’

With the Gove household not bothering to stay up as the results came in through the night, it seems Vine was surprised by the result — telling Gove: ‘you were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off’. Happily despite the initial shock, Vine has assured readers that the couple now realise the responsibility they have been handed by the public:

‘What I thought would bring to an end to months of uncertainly and anxiety — polling day itself — has, in fact, turned out to be merely the start of it. Because, given Michael’s high-profile role in the Leave campaign, that means he — we — are now charged with implementing the instructions of 17 million people. And that is an awesome responsibility.’

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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