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UK prime ministerial hopeful Michael Gove admits past use of cocaine

Britain's environment secretary acknowledged using cocaine on "several occasions" two decades ago, the latest politician hoping to become prime minister to reveal past drug use to circumvent negative headlines during what is expected to be a heated contest.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove, 51, told the Daily Mail that using cocaine was a mistake and "something I deeply regret," but he didn't think it should exclude him from office, the newspaper reported yesterday.

An upcoming biography of Gove includes the revelation of his drug use.

Gove is just the latest Conservative Party candidate in the crowded race to replace Prime Minister Theresa May to go public with confessions about using illegal substances.

In recent days, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the Times of London he drank a "cannabis lassi" in his youth while backpacking in India. International Development Secretary Rory Stewart told the Telegraph he smoked opium at a wedding in Iran 15 years ago.

May stepped down as party leader Friday, conceding she had failed in her attempt to withdraw the country from the European Union. She remains prime minister and is leading the government in a caretaker capacity until her successor is chosen.

So far, 11 lawmakers have announced they plan to seek the post of Conservative Party leader. The head of the party that won the most recent election typically serves as prime minister.

Nominations for the Conservative's leader close Monday afternoon local time.

FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 file photo, Britain's  arrives at Downing Street. London. British Environment Secretary Michael Gove has on Friday, June 7 admitted using cocaine on “several occasions” two decades ago, as Conservative Party leadership hopefuls rush to admit past sins and avoid any surprises during what is expected to be a heated contest. Gove is the latest candidate in the race to replace Prime Minister Theresa May to acknowledge using banned substances. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)
Environment Secretary Michael Gove. Source: Associated Press


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