London (United Kingdom) June 11: Environment secretary Michael Gove laid down the gauntlet to rival Boris Johnson on Monday during the launch of his leadership campaign to replace Theresa May.
Gove is a Brexiteer most famous for shattering the leadership hopes of his longtime friend and Vote Leave ally Johnson.
After Cameron's resignation in 2016 over the EU referendum result, Johnson quickly rose as a favourite for the top job. But a last-minute candidacy entry from Gove - literally hours before the nominations closed - sought to scupper Johnson's hopes.
Gove came out to say he believed Johnson was the no longer right man for prime minister, therefore putting himself forward.
Johnson then said he would be backing away from a leadership bid for himself instead of launching a campaign.
Asked what he would say to Johnson if the two make it through he said: "If I get through, which I am sure I will actually, to the final two against Mr Johnson, this is what I will say to him: 'Mr Johnson, whatever you do, don't pull out, I know you have before, and I know you may not believe in your heart that you can do it, but the Conservative Party membership deserve a choice'."
But the Environment Secretary face is all over the press after he admitted taking cocaine, leaving his campaign hanging by a thread.
Gove admitted he had made a mistake by taking cocaine 20 years ago.
As for Brexit, Gove said that "it wasn't enough to believe in Brexit - you've got to be able to deliver it. I will make sure we leave the EU and take back control of our money, our borders and our law."
While still a Brexit supporter, Gove has recently maintained that he would allow EU nationals living in the UK at the time of the 2016 referendum to apply for citizenship for free.