MICHAEL Gove could be banned from entering the US after his bombshell cocaine confession, officials say.
The would-be PM’s admission that he used the illegal drug more than 20 years ago could put him in breach of strict visa rules.
These require the applicant to answer whether they have “ever violated any law related to possessing, using or distributing illegal drugs”.
FBI and DEA officials have confirmed that authorities could use Mr Gove’s confession to bar him from travelling to the US, the Sunday Times reported.
Nigella Lawson fell foul to these rules and was reportedly denied entry in 2014 – four months after she confessed to taking cocaine.
US immigration law specialist Susan McFadden claimed Mr Gove’s shock confession could make him “inadmissible”.
This would depend on whether the Tory leadership hopeful had lied on his visa waiver or regular visa application before his previous visits to the country.
“It’s not so much about the admission he has made now that could stop him from being allowed to enter the US, but whether he has previously lied on either his Esta or visa application,” she told the Sunday Times.
Mr Gove said he “deeply regrets” using the substance as a young journalist in an interview with the Daily Mail.
‘IT WAS A MISTAKE’
“I took drugs on several occasions at social events more than 20 years. At the time I was a young journalist,” he said.
“It was a mistake. I look back and I think I wish I hadn’t done that.”
He added: “It was 20 years ago and yes, it was a mistake. But I don’t believe that past mistakes disqualify you.”
Last night it was claimed that Mr Gove hosted a cocaine-fuelled party hours after slamming the evils of hard drugs.
Then a journalist at The Times, Mr Gove had penned an article in the newspaper blasting “middle-class professionals” who took banned substances and campaigned for them to be legalised.
But one guest at his Mayfair home claimed that before it had even hit the streets, friends were openly snorting coke during a bash at his London home.
A witness who attended the party said: “Some of the other people were openly taking cocaine. Those of us who were aware of what he had written were staggered at the hypocrisy of it.”
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It is not known whether Mr Gove took the drug on this occasion.
When asked about any cocaine use at the party at Mr Gove’s flat on December 27, 1999, his spokesman last night said that the politician had “no recollection of a party on that date”.
The Environment Secretary was yesterday slammed by drug campaigners, as former police chiefs warned that middle class cocaine use is fuelling an epidemic of knife crime and gang warfare.