MICHAEL GOVE’S former adviser Beth Armstrong was last night at the centre of a ‘dirty tricks’ row involving her old boss.
Furious supporters of Mr Gove blamed his ex-aide — who now works for Tory leadership rival Dominic Raab — for his cocaine confession appearing in an explosive new biography.
Ms Armstrong, 30, served as Mr Gove’s taxpayer-funded special adviser when he was justice secretary and was a key lieutenant during his abortive bid for No.10 in 2016. She went on to work for Mr Raab.
During the 2016 campaign, aides, including Ms Armstrong, put Mr Gove ‘through his paces’ about what to expect from media questioning.
When asked if he had taken drugs, the biography claims Mr Gove stunned the room by admitting: ‘Yes, cocaine.’
The book — Michael Gove: A Man In A Hurry — by Owen Bennett, recalls the incident in detail, leading to a bitter blame game for the leak among Mr Gove’s top team, with suspicion falling on Ms Armstrong.
One insider told The Mail on Sunday it ‘doesn’t take Sherlock to work out how this got out’. Another claimed Ms Armstrong had the ‘dark arts flowing through her’ and had cut her teeth as a researcher at Conservative Party HQ, digging up dirt about Labour.
Last night, Mr Raab’s team said: ‘This did not come from anyone involved in the Raab campaign. We would never look to score cheap political points like this.’ Mr Gove’s spokesman insisted he was not seeking to blame anyone for the revelation.