Michael Gove wife: Sarah Vine's brutal insight to Westminster marriages before divorce

Michael Gove will take questions from MPs today as he continues to pressure cladding firms to fix dangerous housing. The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities was appointed to the role in September 2021. A few months prior to this, in June, Mr Gove’s then-wife Sarah Vine wrote a column about the difficulty of sustaining a marriage in the world of politics. This came after Matt Hancock’s affair with his aide made the front pages.

In her column, Ms Vine said: “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.”

She added 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 discussed 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.”

On how politicians change, Ms Vine argued that the limelight of politics can boost the egos of those in the thick of it.

She added: “The other problem with top-level politics is that, inevitably, you start to believe your own hype.

“Ministers are surrounded by people telling them how brilliant they are. Their departments treat them like feudal barons. Their every whim is treated as law. No one ever says ‘no’ to them.

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“They certainly don’t get asked to unload the dishwasher. And after a while, it changes them. It becomes increasingly difficult for anything to compete with the adrenaline of power.”

Just a week after Ms Vine’s column was published, she and Mr Gove announced they were going to divorce after “drifting apart”.

In a joint statement released, they said they remained “close friends” and would continue supporting their two children, but wanted privacy and would not be commenting further.

Ms Vine and Mr Gove met in 1999 and married in 2001.

A friend of the high-profile couple told PA Media they had “drifted apart over the past couple of years” but it was an “entirely amicable” split and “there is no one else involved”.

Earlier this month, Ms Vine opened up about the divorce, and insists that she never wanted Mr Gove to take a job in Government.

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She told Tatler: “My ulterior motive throughout my entire life was to stop my husband being Prime Minister because I can’t think of anything worse.”

Ms Vine added that “politics creates a toxic environment and puts immense pressure on families and marriages.”

“That’s really at the heart of why Michael and I are getting divorced. It’s not because we hate each other, it’s because I can’t look after my family and myself and be a wife of politics.”

She also branded the EU referendum campaign of 2016 “another huge strain on the marriage.”

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