By Simon Walters for the Daily Mail
He loves dancing, as his wild ‘dad’ moves in an Aberdeen nightclub this summer proved – and now Michael Gove has a ballroom all of his own to practise in.
At the Prime Minister’s insistence, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is moving into Carlton Gardens, a sumptuous grace-and-favour residence customarily the Foreign Secretary’s official London residence.
Mr Gove’s new home will be seen as a surprise, given that Foreign Secretary Liz Truss outranks him in the Cabinet – but she is said to be happy for him to go there.
Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has moved into Carlton Gardens (above), a sumptuous grace-and-favour residence customarily the Foreign Secretary ’s official London residence
Michael Gove is seen leaving his plush new Carlton Gardens residence in Westminster, London on Saturday, November 13
He is the first Cabinet minister with the relatively junior post of housing minister to be given a grace-and-favour home, with security concerns playing a key role in the decision.
Labour’s John Prescott was given Dorneywood in Buckinghamshire with a similar ministerial portfolio in recognition of his additional role as Deputy Prime Minister.
Although Mr Gove has never occupied one of Whitehall’s four ‘great offices of state’ – No 10, No 11, Foreign Office and Home Office – he is widely seen as one of the most powerful figures in the Government.
He was tipped by many to take over as Home Secretary from Priti Patel in the reshuffle, but instead Boris Johnson gave him the key role, alongside his other responsibilities, of ‘levelling up’ the North. The job involves trying to bring greater prosperity to some of the poorest parts of the country.
Although Michael Gove has never occupied one of Whitehall’s four ‘great offices of state’ – No 10, No 11, Foreign Office and Home Office – he is widely seen as one of the most powerful figures in the Government. He is pictured with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (left)
At the Prime Minister’s insistence, Mr Gove is moving into Carlton Gardens (pictured)
Labour is bound to argue that giving Mr Gove a palatial home a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace is starkly at odds with ‘levelling up’.
The 1830 property designed by architect John Nash, worth around £25million, is leased by the Foreign Office from the Crown Estate, which looks after the Queen’s properties.
Considered the most lavish of all London grace-and-favour houses for ministers, two floors have been the Foreign Secretary’s official residence since 1945, when Labour’s Ernest Bevin complained about his ‘shabby flat’ in Downing Street.
The property contains a ballroom, two dining rooms and a three-bedroom apartment.
Miss Truss’s equanimity at Mr Gove’s new home is in contrast to the wrangle she had with her predecessor Dominic Raab over using Chevening, the Foreign Secretary’s official country residence in Kent. They agreed to share it in the end.