DIARY OF AN MP'S WIFE: Inside and Outside PowerSASHA SWIRE Book Number: 91590 Product format: Hardback
'Of course, there is something about the phrase 'political wife' that still evokes an image of a passive, helmet-haired, jam-making woman standing silently behind her husband, either smiling admirably as he asks for votes or frowning firmly as he admits to abusing his power or marriage. When my husband was elected as an MP, I remember being invited to join a Westminster Wives group. The first event they planned was a trip to the Aga Centre for a cookery demonstration.' What is it like to be the wife of a politician in modern- day Britain? Sasha Swire finally lifts the lid. For more than 20 years she has kept a secret diary detailing the trials and tribulations of being a political plus-one, and gives us a ringside seat at the seismic political events of the last decade. Swire detonates the stereotype of the dutiful wife. From shenanigans in Budleigh Salterton to state banquets in Buckingham Palace, gun-toting terrorist-busters in pizza restaurants to dinners in Downing Street sitting next to Boris Johnson, Devon hedges to partying with city hedgies, she observes the great and the not-so-great at the closest of quarters. Painfully revealing and often hilariously funny, here are the friendships and the fall-outs, the general elections and the leadership contests, the scandals and the rivalries. Her secret diary covers not only the rise and the fall of her friends the Camerons, but also the shenanigans surrounding Brexit and the inexorable rise of Boris, concluding at the end when Sir Hugo (as he was by then) left Parliament. Set against a backdrop of country house shooting weekends and boozy dinners at Chequers, but seen through the sceptical eyes of a woman one step removed from the head-butting stags, there is acute political intelligence at work from Lady Swire, wife of Sir Hugo Swire, former MP for East Devon from 2010-2016, a Minister of State for the Northern Ireland Office and Foreign Office and who was the daughter of John Nott. Name dropping index, 527pp, Sunday Times Political Book of the Year. Gripping and appalling in equal measure.
Published price: £20
Bibliophile price: £10.00