It’s been a bad week for marriages in Westminster. First the revelation of Matt Hancock’s affair with adviser, friend and Pinterest lover Gina Coladangelo led to the ex-Health Secretary splitting from wife Martha. And now today, the minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove has revealed he and his wife Sarah Vine are divorcing after 20 years of marriage. A spokesman released a statement this afternoon confirming the news:
“Michael and Sarah have agreed to separate and they are in the process of finalising their divorce. They will continue to support their two children and they remain close friends. The family politely ask for privacy at this time and will not be providing any further comment.
A friend of the couple is quoted as telling the PA news agency that the pair had ‘drifted apart,’ explaining that the ‘difficult and sad decision’ was an ‘entirely amicable separation’ with ‘no one else involved.’ They are quoted as claiming the two former Times journalists had ‘drifted apart over the past couple of years’ but ‘remain friends.’
The news does of course bring a new meaning to the 1,000 words Vine filed for last week’s Mail on Sunday, headlined 'The problem with the wife who's been with you for ever is that she knows you're not the Master of the Universe you purport to be.' The Mail columnist wrote how political marriages ‘rarely, if ever… thrive under the pressures of public life' with Westminster being ‘a place of myriad distractions for the politician seeking refuge from his or her home life.’
She also noted drily how Hancock was only following in the footsteps of his great political mentor, George Osborne, 'now separated from his wife Frances and expecting a child with his former political adviser, Thea Rogers.’
First the Hancocks, now the Goves, who will be next to be caught up in the current matrimonial news-storm? The Westminster rumour mill is in overdrive...