Speaking on a special 60th anniversary edition of Radio 4's Today, the Conservative MP told interviewer John Humphrys that going into the studio “is a bit like going into Harvey Weinstein's bedroom.”
He added: “You just pray that you emerge with your dignity intact”.
Going into the studio is “like going into Harvey Weinstein’s bedroom - you hope to emerge with your dignity intact” Gove on #Todayat60— Nick Robinson (@bbcnickrobinson) October 28, 2017
Former Labour leader Lord Kinnock also joined in, saying: “John [Humphrys] goes way past groping...way past groping.”
Gove later apologised on Twitter, saying his comment “wasn't appropriate” and that he was sorry.
The comments come just days after a report in The Sun alleged female aides and researchers in parliament warned each other on a secret Whatsapp group of “handsy” MPs.
A spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May responded to that by saying: “The Prime Minister was very clear when we responded to the reports about Harvey Weinstein in the last few weeks that any unwanted sexual behaviour is completely unacceptable, and that is true in any walk of life – including politics.”
Women being abused and raped is not a laughing matter. And it doesn’t make us ‘humourless’ to say so. https://t.co/zWXWAdVWmz— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) October 28, 2017
Gove was instantly criticised by several other MPs. “Women being abused and raped is not a laughing matter,” said Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party. Labour MP Stella Creasy called the comment “crass”.
This look didn’t work for james corden…gove joking about sexual assault just as crass too….🙄🙄 https://t.co/IMVB84ZD9I— stellacreasy (@stellacreasy) October 28, 2017