Shakespearian tragedy: Gove waxes lyrical about the fall of Huhne

People will remember Chris Huhne as the man who came within a hair's breadth of becoming deputy prime minister but ended up in "Brixton nick", Michael Gove has said.

The education secretary offered an almost Shakespearian assessment of his fellow Cabinet minister as the Liberal Democrats continued to consolidate their position in the Eastleigh by-election.

"Huhne is remarkable, he appeared to be a nerveless vicar, one of those people who was never burdened by self-doubt and who could take on all-comers," Gove told the Daily Mail.

"Now people will remember him only for the fall; from having been a few places away from being deputy prime minister to suddenly being in Brixton nick."

The former energy secretary is facing jail after he pleaded guilty to perverting the court of justice.

Gove also used the interview to pour cold water on rumours about him fighting for the party leadership whenever David Cameron steps down.

"I just know that I don't have what it takes," Gove said.

"David Cameron has reserves of equanimity and balance and judgment, and I just think: I couldn't do that.

"He is a leader of men and I am, I hope, someone who can fight on behalf of the team in a particular area, but I know I am not the team captain."

Campaigning continues in the Eastleigh constituency today, with Boris Johnson heading down to fight for colourful Tory candidate Maria Hutchings.