Will Tristram Hunt’s business-savvy wife be voting Labour?

Will Tristram Hunt's business-savvy wife be voting Labour?
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It was his contempt for nuns that got shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt into trouble on last week’s Question Time, but there was another notable line worth revisiting. A tetchy Hunt hit back at an audience member who accused him of failing to understand the needs of small business owners, struggling to pay their bills:

‘My wife runs a small business, so I know about the challenges facing small business in my family, so don’t give a lecture on that.’

Now that Hunt has brought his wife into the debate, Mr S wondered how tough life has been for Mrs Hunt, the small business owner. Juliet Thornback is a designer of upmarket homeware. Her company, Thornback and Peel, 'create beautiful, intricate hand screen-printed pieces for the home' and they don't come cheap.

Entry-level products include silk hand-printed, duck feather cushions at £55 a pop. If you have got a spare grand kicking about, then why not pick up one of her vintage upholstered chairs in her signature Blue Rabbit & Cabbage ivory linen? Thornback and Peel are also famous for their wallpaper, that comes in at £72 per roll.

Remember all the stick that George Osborne got for saying he understood small business because he is heir to the Osborne & Little wallpaper millions? For comparison, their stuff starts at the cheaper price of £55 per roll.

With £102,469 worth of assets and £18,044 in the bank as of November 2014, his wife seems to be struggling pretty successfully. The question is, as a business owner, is she voting Labour?

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to

Topics in this articlePoliticsquestion time