Michael Gove slammed for making “clumsy” Harvey Weinstein joke

The Tory cabinet minister has since apologised "unreservedly" for his "clumsy attempt at humour"

Michael Gove has been forced to apologise after facing a backlash for a joke he made about Harvey Weinstein on BBC Radio 4.

The Conservative cabinet minister, who is currently Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, appeared on the station’s revered Today programme earlier this morning (October 28) for a special edition to mark its 60th anniversary.

However, Gove courted outrage with his appearance on the show after he made a joke about Weinstein, who is currently facing mounting accusations of rape, sexual harassment and other forms of misconduct by numerous women – allegations he “unequivocally denies”.

Speaking to Today presenter John Humphrys about whether Humphrys and other BBC presenters made politicians “look silly”, Gove said: “Sometimes I think coming into the studio with you, John, is a bit like going into Harvey Weinstein’s bedroom – you hope to emerge with your dignity intact”. The remarks drew a mix of gasps and laughter from the studio audience.

Fellow guest and Labour politician Neil Kinnock also added: “John goes way past groping.”

Gove has since apologised for the joke, tweeting: “Apologies for my clumsy attempt at humour on R4 Today this morning — it wasn’t appropriate. I’m sorry and apologise unreservedly.”

Elsewhere, Rose McGowan – who was one of the first prominent names in Hollywood to speak out against Weinstein – yesterday delivered a powerful speech on sexual assault in Hollywood and beyond.