Just days after announcing his bid to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and the UK's next prime minister, Michael Gove has been called a "political psychopath" and "suicide bomber' by Rachel Johnson, sister of Boris Johnson. Gove amazed and angered many within the party when he announced his intentions to stand, scuppering Boris Johnson's bid in the process.
In a column for the Mail on Sunday, journalist and author Rachel Johnson launches into an incredible attack on Gove and his wife Sarah Vine, herself a Mail columnist.
"Michael Gove knifed Boris Johnson in the back and in the front, pushed him under a bus, ran over him several times (thank you Piers Morgan for this image) and then declared he was running for the leadership himself," writes Johnson, author of Notting Hell.
Gove, Johnson adds, "is now cast in the public mind not as a heroic man of conviction, but as a sort of Westminster suicide bomber, whose deadly belt of explosives has been detonated not by his own hand, but by his own wife."
Gove, Johnson concludes, has "acted like a political psychopath".
Gove, who reinforced his leadership bid with a 5,000 word speech on Friday, 1 July, is under sustained attack for the way he undermined Boris and David Cameron for his U-turn on whether to stand, and for leading the Eu referendum Vote Leave campaign without having a plan for what to do next.
Gove, who has also been ridiculed for his lack of personality, and even the way he applauds, is currently a 14/1 outside bet to win the leadership contest with bookmakers Paddy Power.
At odds of 1/3, Home Secretary Theresa May is hot favourite to be the next Conservative leader, having so far managed to avoid being tarnished by accusations and in rising to the post of Home Secretary without ruffling too many feathers.
However, May's pro-Remain stance could count against her as many Conservatives believe only someone who campaigned for Brexit will be able to negotiate a divorce from the EU which is in the UK's interests.