Michael Gove - the man who pronounced himself incapable of running the country - has launched his bid for the Conservative leadership and the keys to No 10 with an admission he has no charisma or glamour.

A day after sensationally ending Boris Johnson's chances of becoming prime minister, Mr Gove insisted he had not entered the race in a calculated move, but instead felt moved to stand due to his "burning desire" for change.

READ MORE: Michael Gove says he understands and believes in Scotland as he sets out his vision for a "new Union"

Mr Gove has previously surpassed nearly every politician in history in the clarity and frequency of his protestations against running for the top job, even offering to sign his lack of ambition for Downing Street in his own blood.

But in an about-turn he described how his "passion for change" was driven by his upbringing by adoptive parents Ernie and Christine, as he sought to set out his stall against the "business as usual" approach of rival and frontrunner Theresa May.

READ MORE: Justice Secretary Michael Gove declares himself 'candidate for change' in pitch to be next Tory leader and PM

And he dismissed suggestions he had long planned to break off his "dream ticket" partnership with Mr Johnson.

Asked how he had managed to write a near-5,000 word speech packed with policy ideas in just a day, Mr Gove replied: "I think it was Winston Churchill who once apologised for sending a long letter, because if he'd had more time he would have made it shorter.

"The truth is I'm notorious amongst my friends for having lots of ideas."

He went on: "It's me, the reason it's so long is it's me. And people who know me will hear my voice in every page of this."

In highly personal sections of his speech, he riffed on his image as an intellectual policy maker rather than a personality politician.

"I never thought I'd ever be in this position," he said. "I did not want it, indeed I did almost everything not to be a candidate for the leadership of this party.

"I was so very reluctant because I know my limitations. Whatever charisma is, I don't have it, whatever glamour may be, I don't think anyone could ever associate me with it.

"I stand here - and I am standing for the leadership - not as a result of calculation. I am standing with the burning desire to transform our country."

READ MORE: Michael Gove says he understands and believes in Scotland as he sets out his vision for a "new Union"

Mr Gove heaped praise on his wife, the columnist Sarah Vine, but revealed she did not encourage him to stand, despite the emergence of an email showing she encouraged him to play hardball in negotiations with Mr Johnson over the leadership.

"I love her very much, she's an amazing and wonderful woman, before I do anything important in my life I always talk to Sarah," he said.

"But when it comes to politics, these are my ideas and I'm standing on the basis of what I believe.

"But I'm also, whatever happens in life, just uniquely fortunate to have such a wonderful person as my wife."

Asked if he was encouraged to run by his wife, Mr Gove replied: "No actually, she didn't, but once I decided, she did say she would support me - the last time I looked - I've been here for about an hour and ten minutes, I haven't checked any texts in the meantime, or emails for that matter."

But ultimately, Mr Gove said it all came down to his upbringing and his desire to unlock the "human potential" of Britain.

His parents taught him that "if you invest love and care in any individual, you can help them to make a difference, to write their own life story".

"The first four months of my life were spent in care, before I was adopted by my wonderful parents - my mum and dad - Ernie and Christine.

"They went on to adopt my sister, who is profoundly deaf, and invested both of us with a love and support that informs everything I do today.

"I remember my mum explaining to me what adoption meant when I was still at primary school. 'Son,' she said to me, 'you didn't grow under my heart, you grew in it.'

"Whatever else I know, I know that if you invest love and care in any individual you can help them to make a difference, to write their own life story."