None the less, our proposal that Michael Gove become Deputy Prime Minister for the reason given above seems to have struck a chord with many of them.
63 per cent agreed with the plan and 27 per cent disagreed, with ten per cent not taking a view one way or the other. Here is the nub of the case made in the wake of Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation:
“But even a shoring-up of the Chancellor and the taking-up of Cabinet Government might not be enough, during these coming weeks, to calm the passions stirred by Britain’s EU membership and exploded by Duncan Smith’s spectacular resignation. Something else is needed – or rather someone – who fits a tricky bill. That someone would be a supporter of the Chancellor, and thus trusted by the people at the top of that pyramid. He would also be a supporter of Brexit, and therefore trusted, too, by those at the bottom. He would be liked and respected by his Parliamentary colleagues, with a proven record of delivery in at least one government department. He would be sought for his counsel by both Osborne and Boris Johnson – and, ideally, be a friend of the Prime Minister too.
Only one person fits the bill, and I will describe it in terms that he will understand. Every King of Gondor needs a Steward; every King of Westeros a Hand. Michael Gove, who wrote a superlative Sunday Telegraph piece earlier today urging calm and sweet reason, should be brought back into Cameron’s inner circle. Getting through the difficult weeks before the referendum and the hazardous ones after – and perhaps staving off a leadership challenge to the most electorally successful post-war Tory leader save Margaret Thatcher – means allowing the Justice Secretary also to serve as Deputy Prime Minister, either de jure or perhaps better de facto (to save Osborne’s face).
Neither pro-Remain Cameron nor pro-Leave Gove can stop the carnage and enforce peace on their own. But they can together. The alternative is for council seats that looked safe a week ago to be lost in May; for Government management to risk unravelling and the referendum aftermath to chance regicide, and for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party – incredible though this may seem – to begin to creep back into 2020 contention.”