Profile: Michael Gove

Michael Gove Mr Gove has been an MP for five years

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Michael Gove is the new Secretary of State for Education in Prime Minister David Cameron's coalition government.

Mr Gove is the Conservative MP for the wealthy constituency of Surrey Heath in south-east England. He won the seat at the 2005 General Election.

He was made Shadow Minister for Housing in December 2005, until he was promoted to Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families in June 2007.

Before his appointment, Mr Gove had said he would be prepared to give up his cabinet seat in the interests of power sharing.

He made his mark as Shadow Children, Schools and Families Secretary with his "free schools" policy, which will see parents and other groups able to set up their own schools.

Mr Gove believes the policy will raise standards and attainment.

Mr Gove has also said disadvantaged children should be able to attend school on Saturdays to give them better access to sport, music and extra tuition.

Expenses

During the expenses scandal, Mr Gove was accused by the Daily Telegraph of "flipping" his designated second home to a house in his constituency.

This was an allegation he vehemently denied, saying his principal home had been in Surrey since before his election in May 2005.

However, he did agree to pay back £7,000 he claimed for furniture costs at his London home.

Personal life

Born in Edinburgh in August 1967, Mr Gove was adopted when he was four months old by a family in Aberdeen.

His father was a fish merchant and his mother worked as a lab assistant at the University of Aberdeen and with deaf children for Aberdeen District Council.

Mr Gove was educated at both state and independent schools, in England and Scotland.

He studied English at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University in the 1980s and during his time there served as President of the Oxford Union.

Before becoming an MP, Mr Gove was a journalist and worked for the Times newspaper.

He is married to Sarah Vine, a writer for the Times, and has two children.

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