MICHAEL Gove has refused to follow Rishi Sunak’s example and enter into a £1000 bet over the success of the Government’s Rwanda asylum scheme.

The Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary told Sky News’ Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips: “I don’t have that sort of money, Trevor.”

But he added “we absolutely will” get flights off the ground before the General Election.

Asked whether he would make the bet with £100, Gove said: “I would happily give you 100 quid, take you out for a very nice meal and spend that money on making sure that you are a happier man.”

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak reported to sleaze watchdog over Piers Morgan Rwanda bet

Phillips replied: “This is a political programme, not a dating agency.”

Last week, Sunak was criticised for betting £1000 with TV presenter Piers Morgan that deportation flights to Rwanda would take off before the election.

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said it made the Prime Minister look “out of touch” and his party has reported the bet to Laurie Magnus, the independent adviser on ministers' interests, and Simon Case, the head of the civil service, calling it a "clear" breach of the rules. 

The National:

Despite the ructions caused by the policy – which has so far cost the UK Government £240 million – no asylum seekers have been sent to Rwanda.

Later in the interview, Gove said Sunak is “100%” the right leader to take the Tories into the general election.

The Cabinet minister, who has faced accusations of being part of a coup to oust the Prime Minister, told Sky’s Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips: “You bet. Absolutely. 100%.

“The Prime Minister is one of the most gifted leaders in the western world.”