Michael Gove 'left son at hotel to attend literary festival party'
Michael Gove and his wife left their young son at a bed and breakfast while they partied the night away with celebrities, it has been reported.
The 11-year-old is said to have preferred to stay in and watch TV rather than go to the function where his father was later spotted on the dance floor.
Government guidelines advise that children under 12 are not left alone for a long period of time and if they are harmed in their absence parents can be prosecuted, however the "mature" boy was left under supervision by staff.
Mr Gove, the former education secretary and chief whip, notoriously launched a failed bid to lead the Tory party in the wake of the referendum that saw him betray his Brexit ally, Boris Johnson.
After keeping a low profile since the debacle the MP, 48, stepped out earlier this month with journalist wife Sarah Vine to attend the event celebrating the end of the Cheltenham Literature Festival.
According to the Sunday Mirror they entrusted staff at the £250-a-night guesthouse to look after the youngster, returning at 1.30am the following morning.
Later that day comedian Dom Joly tweeted: "Amazing party at @131TheProm celebrating end of Chelt Lit Fest- only slightly ruined by the sight of the loathsome Michael Gove dancing..."
A spokesman for the family told the Sunday Mirror: "Michael and Sarah's son is a mature and confident secondary school pupil. He preferred to watch TV rather than go out to dinner.
"He was perfectly fine and staff at the 13-room hotel were happy to supervise.
"The hotel where Michael, Sarah and their son were staying would know how to get in touch with them if anything distressing had occurred."
An NSPCC spokesman said: "It can be a difficult decision to decide when children are old enough to be left alone and there are a whole host of things to think about. Parents need to consider whether a child would know what to do if something went wrong, and talk to their child and see if they are comfortable and confident about being left by themselves."
The NSPCC advises that children under 12 are not left at home alone for a long period of time because they are "rarely mature enough to cope in an emergency" and that children under the age of 16 are not left alone overnight.
Parents and carers can contact the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 for help and support when deciding whether to leave a child alone.