The Levelling Up Secretary gave a clear signal that the proposals are on the way to being abandoned, saying anything that might undermine the environment ‘is out’.
He also appeared to breathe new life into the Tories manifesto target of building 300,000 homes a year – although he cautioned it is even ‘more difficult’ due to economic circumstances.
The investment zone were intended as ‘full-fat’ versions of freeports, with reduced red tape and potentially even lower tax.
But Mr Gove told Sky News‘s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme: ‘I’m reviewing them.
‘We need to make sure that any change that we make is one which of course helps to support economic growth and good jobs for people, but also one of the concerns raised about investment zones was the impact on the environment.
‘I’ve been very clear and the Prime Minister has been very clear that under no circumstances will we weaken environmental protections.
Another of Liz Truss’s flagship policies face being ignominiously ditched after Michael Gove confirmed investment zones are ‘under review’
It is the latest in a litany of Liz Truss (pictured) policies facing the axe, after her plans for unfunded tax cuts sent the markets into meltdown
‘So I will be looking with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with the Environment Secretary and with the Prime Minister at the proposals that were drawn up when Liz was prime minister… and anything that might in any way undermine environmental protections is out.’
It is the latest in a litany of Truss policies facing the axe, after her plans for unfunded tax cuts sent the markets into meltdown.
Mr Gove said the 300,000 a year housing target from the 2019 Tory manifesto is still the Government’s aim.
But he told the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme: ‘No-one can deny that it is going to be made more difficult because of the economic circumstances that we face.
‘As Rishi (Sunak) said, we need to be straight with people: the cost of materials has increased because of the problems with global supply chains and also a very tight labour market means that the capacity to build those homes at the rate we want is constrained.’
Mr Gove today offered an extraordinary apology to the British public for the Conservatives putting Ms Truss in charge for 49 days.
The Levelling Up Secretary said he understood people’s anger that the government had taken a ‘holiday from reality’.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Mr Sunak gave a fresh warning about ‘difficult decisions’ as he and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt draw up a Budget expected to include £50billion in spending cuts and tax rises.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday today, Rishi Sunak (pictured visiting a London hospital on Friday) gave a fresh warning about ‘difficult decisions’ to come
In the wake of Liz Truss’s disastrous tenure, an Opinium poll found that Labour’s lead has been trimmed from 27 points to 16 points over the past week
The PM – who moved into Downing Street at the weekend – insisted inflation is the ‘No1 enemy’ and controlling it is the only way of stopping interest rates spiking even higher.
However, Mr Sunak is facing fresh criticism for re-appointing Suella Braverman as Home Secretary, after she quit over leaking sensitive information under Ms Truss.
He is also under more pressure over shunning the COP27 summit in Egypt, with the UK’s COP27 president voicing disappointment and claims Boris Johnson will attend.
Opinium research carried out between Wednesday and Friday found Tory support was on 28 per cent, up five on the previous week.
Meanwhile, Labour was down six points to 44 per cent.
Mr Sunak has also regained the lead on economic competence. Some 33 per cent said they would prefer ‘a Conservative government led by Rishi Sunak’ to manage the economy, compared to 29 per cent who opted for ‘a Labour government led by Keir Starmer’.
The previous week 39 per cent chose a Starmer government, while just 11 per cent favoured ‘a Conservative government led by Liz Truss.’
It comes after YouGov research from Tuesday and Wednesday – as Mr Sunak became premier and took his first PMQs – found Sir Keir’s party had a 28-point advantage.
That was down from the eye-watering 37 points recorded four days earlier when it was not clear who would take over from Ms Truss.
The narrowing was partly down to the Conservatives bumping up to 23 per cent support from just 19 per cent, while Labour slipped from 56 per cent to 51 per cent.
Survation showed a similar clawing back of ground, with the Tories up by four in a week to 27 per cent and Labour down one to 51 per cent.