Email Gaffe Involving British Pols Proves Why You Should Always Double Check Before Hitting Send

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 8.32.19 AMWe’ve all been there before: sending out some personal email that’s meant to go to one person, but in the haste of having fat fingers and tiny iPhone screens you accidentally blast off a message to the wrong person.

However, you’ve probably never accidentally exposed a revealing correspondence to the media about the inner workings of political backchannels.

That’s exactly what Sarah Vine did by mistake, the wife of conservative British Parliament member Michael Gove, who intended to send her husband an email in private. Unfortunately, it went to a member of the public instead — who promptly brought it to media outlets — as the note revealed Vine encouraging her husband to jockey for a particular political position in exchange for supporting former London mayor Boris Johnson‘s bid for the Tory party.

The email with the subject line “thoughts” was sent Tuesday intended for Gove and two political advisors. According to The Guardian, “[The email] exposes Vine’s involvement in Gove’s political career and hints that there are potential sources of disagreement already about the role he could play in a government led by Johnson.” It expresses doubts about Johnson’s popularity overall, especially in the wake of the Leave vote that the former London mayor heavily championed.

The email, which also references media bigwigs Rupert Murdoch and Paul Dacre, read in full:

Very important that we focus on the individual obstacles and thoroughly overcome them before moving to the next. I really think Michael needs to have a Henry or a Beth with him for this morning’s crucial meetings.

One simple message: you MUST have SPECIFIC from Boris OTHERWISE you cannot guarantee your support. The details can be worked out later on, but without that you have no leverage.

Crucially, the membership will not have the necessary reassurance to back Boris, neither will Dacre/Murdoch, who instinctively dislike Boris but trust your ability enough to support a Boris Gove ticket.

Do not concede any ground. Be your stubborn best.


This has all the makings of a House of Cards storyline, especially the line, “Be your stubborn best.” Man the Brits really do have a way with words.

[image via screengrab]

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