Michael Gove defends 'thumps-up' photo with Donald Trump as 'light-hearted joshing'

Gove interviewed Mr Trump for The Times

Michael Gove's photo with Donald Trump has led some to question his objectivity

Monday, January 16, 2017

Michael Gove has told talkRADIO his 'thumbs-up' photo with Donald Trump was just "light-hearted joshing" and insists "people should have a sense of humour about these things."

The MP and journalist, who interviewed Trump for the Times, posed for a picture with the President-elect which has subsequently gone viral and led some critics to question the former education secretary's objectivity.

However Gove, who played a key role in the Leave campaign during last summer's EU referendum, told Julia Hartley-Brewer that he was interviewing Mr Trump in a professional capacity and maintains a detached, strictly neutral view on the President-elect, despite his frequent words of support for Brexit.

Pressed by Julia on the photograph, Gove insisted it was "tradition for journalists to take pictures with their interviewees."

Gove also said Mr Trump's instincts as a dealmaker could serve Britain well in the months ahead, and we shouldn't read too much into his meetings with several other foreign leaders before Theresa May.

He recognised that there is a "dark side" to Mr Trump's character, as evinced by his derogatory remarks towards women. But he said the billionaire, who is due to be sworn in later this week, can also be "beguiling and charming."

Listen to the full interview above