Sarah Vine has spoken about the difficulties of sustaining a political marriage in the wake of revelations about Matt Hancock’s affair with his aide.
Michael Gove’s wife, a newspaper journalist, wrote in her column for the Mail on Sunday: “Climbing that far up Westminster’s greasy pole changes a person. And when someone changes, they require something new from a partner.
“Namely, someone who is as much a courtesan as a companion, one who understands their brilliance and, crucially, is personally invested in it.
“Not someone who thinks it’s all a monumental nuisance and wishes they would get a proper job that doesn’t involve people poking cameras in your face and commenting on your poor choice of footwear.”
Ms Vine, 54 who has been married to Mr Gove, a Cabinet Office minister, for 20 years said that Mr Hancock’s “behaviour may be shocking, but given the context it is entirely predictable”.
She singled out former Prime Minister David Cameron as being “unique” among all the senior politicians she had ever met in “carving out time for his family”.
Ms Vine also praised Samantha Cameron for forcing David to go on “date nights” with her when they lived in Downing Street between 2010 and 2016 and for making sure he never forgot his “obligation” to her and the children.
Ms Vine, referenced both Mr Hancock and former Chancellor George Osborne who left their wives and started relationships with people they had worked with as ministers.
She wrote: “Both Martha and Frances Osborne are highly intelligent, attractive women. So why, you might ask, would they find themselves thrown over? I think the answer is simple.
“These women are still more or less the same person they were when they got married. But their ‘politician men’ are not.”
Ms Vine’s full page column appeared with a photo of Mr Hancock’s estranged wife Martha kissing him on election day, under a headline: “The problem with the wife who’s been with you forever is that she knows you’re not the Master of the Universe you purport to be.”