Gove In Government



Mary Ann Sieghart examines Michael Gove's distinctive approach to being a minister.

In the eight years since the Conservatives entered government in 2010, one minister has consistently driven innovative policy change everywhere he has served. Now Mary Ann Sieghart explores the governmental strategy of Michael Gove - and asks if others could learn from him about getting things done.

From Education to Environment via Justice, Gove has shaken the bureaucratic machine to its foundations, infuriated his critics and bucked established wisdom to push policy in new directions. In this programme Mary Ann examines how he's done it and the impact of his characteristic mannered style, intellectual self-confidence, brisk policy-making process and tenacious departmental management.

She speaks to those who have seen the Gove style first hand, civil servants, special advisers, trade unionists and lobbyists. And she investigates how Gove's approach has evolved over time and in three very different settings: in Education, where he arrived with a clear plan of action and determined to take on the 'blob' of the educational establishment; in Justice, where he liberalised policy and thoroughly dismantled the legacy of his Conservative colleague and predecessor Chris Grayling; and in Environment, where he is developing plans with a freedom no UK minister in this role has had in almost fifty years.

Gove's policies and methods have generated critics as well as admirers, and Mary Ann assesses the implications of his uncompromising approach for the task of running government.

Producer: Giles Edwards.