The Cone Secretary; ... or How a Young Michael Gove Fell Foul of the Law -- for Hurling Traffic Cone off a Viaduct

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Byline: Glen Owen POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT

IT'S ALWAYS the quiet ones... Education Secretary Michael Gove, regarded as the most mildmannered intellectual in the Cabinet, was once reprimanded by police for hurling a traffic cone off a viaduct during a riotous night out.

The hidden past of 43-year-old Mr Gove, one of David Cameron's closest friends, has emerged after a fellow reveller came forward with an account of the evening.

The Cabinet Minister - who has vowed to crack down on bad behaviour in schools by hiring former Army officers and training them as teachers - had his brush with the law in his native Scotland.

At the time, Mr Gove was in his early 20s and was training as a journalist on a paper in Aberdeen.

He has only a 'hazy recollection' of the incident, which took place in the Union Street area of the city. But one of his drinking partners claims that after the cone left the top of the viaduct, Mr Gove was arrested - a recollection the Minister does not recall to be accurate.

Last night, a friend of Mr Gove explained how events unfolded: 'A few drinks had been partaken that evening. Michael and his pals had become interested in redeploying some traffic furniture on Union Street when Grampian Police came along and suggested it was not the most effective way of dealing with traffic issues. …