Sky have got hold of an email sent yesterday by Michael Gove’s wife Sarah Vine to Michael and his team, accidentally copied to a member of the public:
Very important that we focus now on the individual obstacles and thoroughly overcome them before moving to the next.
I really think Michael needs to have a Henry or a Beth [Gove’s SpAds] with him for this morning’s critical meetings.
One simple message you MUST have SPECIFIC assurances from Boris OTHERWISE you cannot guarantee your support.
The details can be worked out later on, but without that you have no leverage.
Crucially the membership will not have the necessary reassurance to back Boris, neither will Dacre / Murdoch, who instinctively dislike Boris but trust your ability enough to support a Boris / Gove ticket.
Do not concede any ground. Be your stubborn best.
Decoded: Henry Cook, Henry Newman and Beth Armstrong are Gove’s SpAds; Sarah wants Michael to secure assurances from Boris that his government will not waver from delivering Brexit in full or bottle it on free movement – a key concern of Leave MPs in the last 48 hours. 100% with Mrs Gove.