Revealed: England cricketer Darren Gough turned down an offer from David Cameron to become an MP then received ‘bad messages’ from people convinced he was joining the Tories
- David Cameron asked ex-England cricketer Darren Gough to become an MP
- Gough revealed then PM made the offer in his home town of Barnsley in 2011
- Athlete said he found the proposal ‘funny’ and said he would never be a politician
As a former England cricketer, Darren Gough has faced his fair share of surprising deliveries. But he admits he was bowled over when David Cameron asked him to be a Tory MP.
Gough revealed the then prime minister made the offer in his home town of Barnsley in 2011, before inviting him to lunch at Chequers.
Gough said he found the proposal ‘very, very funny’ and politely declined, saying he was ‘never going to be a politician’.
Gough, 50, said Mr Cameron approached him after he starred in a campaign video for his friend, MP Nigel Adams.
Gough, who won Strictly Come Dancing in 2005, said Mr Cameron did not know that a Conservative politician would ‘never win a seat’ in the South Yorkshire town.
‘He did [ask me to stand]. We have a joke about it,’ he told the Mail. ‘On my 50th birthday, he sent me a very funny video message saying he’s got an idea about me being an MP again. It made me chuckle.
Former England cricketer Darren Gough said David Cameron approached him about becoming a Tory MP after he starred in a campaign video for his friend, MP Nigel Adams
Gough revealed then prime minister David Cameron made the offer of becoming a Tory MP in his home town of Barnsley in 2011, before inviting him to lunch at Chequers
‘I’m really good friends with Nigel Adams who’s in the Government. I did a video for his campaign to be a politician many years ago. David Cameron saw it and he thought I’d be a very good name to be a politician in Barnsley.
‘But I don’t think he knows the history around Barnsley and politics and politicians.
‘It was fun for the moment. I went and had a chat with him and I went to Chequers for lunch.’ Despite never taking Mr Cameron’s proposal seriously, Gough said he received ‘bad messages’ from people convinced he was set to join the Tory party.
Gough is the latest sports star revealed to have been touted for a job in Mr Cameron’s government after then chancellor Mr Osborne suggested Beckham in 2013.
He wanted the former footballer to succeed Sir Hugh Robertson as sports minister, but the idea was shot down by spin doctor Sir Craig Oliver.
Gough still has a brush with politics when he sees Sir Iain Duncan Smith in the Buckinghamshire village they both live in.
It comes just a week after it was revealed that former chancellor George Osborne wanted to give David Beckham a peerage and make him sports minister
‘I go for a drink now and again at the House Of Commons, and I have a drink with Nigel. He always looks after me and takes me up into the box to watch them debating.’
Gough said it was unlikely he will have a change of heart, adding: ‘Politics is not for me whatsoever. I love just sitting up there in the gallery and watching them debate. I think it’s hilarious.
‘For someone who’s not really interested in politics it’s a great thing to be there and overlook it and watch. It’s very entertaining. I was fascinated by it. I could sit there for hours and hours. It’s like The Muppet Show, it’s great.’
Gough, who has been a presenter on Talk Sport for the past 11 years, was awarded an MBE for services to cricket in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
‘I was over the moon, obviously. I played cricket for a long time and I think I achieved a lot of great things,’ he said. ‘Me and my wife have done a lot of charity events. That means a lot and to raise over £1 million for our events is special.’
n Gough is trying for the Christmas No 1 single with Rig-Aid’s It’s Christmas Time (It’s Time to Lash). Pre-order on Amazon or Apple Music, with proceeds going to the Restart Rugby charity.