MICHAEL Gove hosted a cocaine-fuelled party hours after slamming the evils of hard drugs, it was claimed last night.
The wannabe PM, then a journalist at The Times, had penned an article in the newspaper blasting “middle-class professionals” who took banned substances and campaigned for them to be legalised.
5 Michael Gove heading off to Westminster on Friday morningCredit: Kevin Dunnett – The Sun
5 Gove – pictured 15 year ago – allegedly hosted a cocaine-fuelled party about 20 years agoCredit: Rex Features
But one guest at his Mayfair home claimed that before it had even hit the streets, friends were openly snorting coke during a bash at his London home.
A witness who attended the party said: “Some of the other people were openly taking cocaine. Those of us who were aware of what he had written were staggered at the hypocrisy of it.”
His guest spoke out after Mr Gove’s shock confession that he had taken cocaine on “several occasions” 20 years ago threatened to engulf his bid for the Tory leadership crown.
The Environment Secretary was yesterday slammed by drug campaigners, as former police chiefs warned that middleclass cocaine use is fuelling an epidemic of knife crime and gang warfare.
Last night it emerged that his drugs confession could lead to him facing a ban from travelling to the USA – which would seriously hamper him if he becomes PM.
The FBI and US Drug Enforcement Agency warned he would be in breach of visa rules which question whether visitors ever violated any law relating to possession, use or distribution of illegal drugs.
Experts said he could be barred from American travel for life for taking drugs as he now admitted – or if he had previously lied about it on a visa application form.
In a further move, Boris Johnson yesterday denied claims he had also snorted cocaine, saying he had only been offered the drug.
When asked about any cocaine use at the party at Mr Gove’s flat on December 27, 1999, his spokesman last night said that the politician had “no recollection of a party on that date”.
A column he wrote for the Times that appeared the following morning tore into Channel 4 for plans to mark the millennium with a night of programmes about cocaine and cautioned the authorities against turning a blind eye to drug-taking.
He warned that while “middle-class professionals” might be able to live with drug use, it was less easy to cope with the “consequences of illegal drug use or family breakdown in South Shields than it is in south Hampstead”.
But pals of Mr Gove recall that hours after writing that, he was hosting a decadent party in the Mayfair flat that he shared with close friend Ivan Massow, where cocaine was available.
It is not known whether Mr Gove took the drug on this occasion, but there is no suggestion that Mr Massow did.
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One party-goer vividly remembers other people taking the powder – and claimed Mr Gove must have been aware of it.
The guest said: “It wasn’t that people were doing it in the open on the sofas but it would be hard for him not to have been aware of what was going on.”
He said the party was attended by the sort of middleclass people Mr Gove had attacked in his anti-drugs column, adding “It was the same sort of milieu. I was genuinely surprised at how louche it was.”
Michael Gove admits taking cocaine as would-be PM reveals ‘deep regret’ over drug past
5 Gove was seen smoking a cigarette in a back alley in 2018Credit: BackGrid
5 Gove pictured in 2004 discussing the Atkins Diet whilst working at The Times on Body & SoulCredit: Rex Features
5 Gove said he regretted doing cocaineCredit: Rex Features