Michael Gove made a series of racist and homophobic remarks during speeches when in his 20s, it has emerged.
He was recorded calling Prince Charles a ‘dull, wet, drippy adulterer’ and joked about paedophilia.
Mr Gove’s description of people living in countries colonised by the British as ‘fuzzy-wuzzies’ was met by shouts of ‘shame’ at the Cambridge Union.
The Cabinet Office minister made the speeches while he was a student at Oxford in 1987, and after his graduation while working as a journalist in 1993.
He was taking part in debates that apparently encouraged humour and controversy.
Mr Gove, who is tipped for a promotion in Boris Johnson’s next reshuffle, claimed gay people ‘thrive primarily upon short-term relations’, according to the recordings obtained by The Independent.
He also made a string of sexual jokes about Lucy Frazer, who was the former president of the Cambridge Union and is now a Tory justice minister.
Mr Gove said Ms Frazer was ‘actually capable of tempting me into bed with her’, adding she had done ‘remarkably well’ to come from the ‘slums of Leeds’.
Elsewhere, Mr Gove called Margaret Thatcher’s policies a ‘new empire’ where ‘the happy South stamps over the cruel, dirty, toothless face of the Northerner’.
During one speech in 1987, Mr Gove said: ‘It may be moral to keep an empire because the fuzzy-wuzzies can’t look after themselves.’
He added that Eton College, where the Prime Minister was educated, took the ‘cream of the colonial system’ and turned ‘fettered foreigners’ into ‘gentlemen’.
Fettered is a term used to describe prisoners, and often slaves, who have been restrained with chains.
In February 1993, he made a number of offensive comments about former home secretary Sir Leon Brittan, implying he was sexually interested in young boys.
Sir Leon was cleared after being targeted by Scotland Yard’s disgraced sexual abuse inquiry. He died in 2015.
Wendy Chamberlain, the Liberal Democrat chief whip, told The Independent: ‘The Prime Minister should consider whether this is the type of person that deserves to be sat around the Cabinet table.
‘However, given Boris Johnson’s own history of disgraceful remarks, I expect this will be another shameful issue he lets go unchallenged.’
Mr Gove has been approached for comment.
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