Ex-Home Secretary Jacqui Smith blasts Strictly Curse concerns as she reveals she’s found love


Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has revealed she’s found love again after splitting from her husband of 33 years in January. 

The Strictly Come Dancing star, 57, who is paired with Anton du Beke on this year’s show, vowed not to fall victim to the show’s fabled ‘Curse’, as her dance partner is married and she is in a ‘newish, lovely relationship’. 

Her split from Richard Timney came a decade on from her resignation from frontline politics in the wake of the expenses scandal – in which her husband became ignominiously embroiled after it emerged he had claimed expenses for watching two adult films.

She has now moved on from her political past and her defunct marriage and insists she is happier than ever in her new romance. 

On the up: Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, 57, has revealed she’s found love again after splitting from her husband of 33 years in January (pictured with her ex-husband Richard Timney in 2010)

Speaking to The Guardian about romance, she said: ‘I won’t have it said that Anton is not gorgeous. But he is happily married and I am in a newish, but lovely, relationship. Trust us, there will be no Strictly curse.’

She also revealed she had tried out online dating but was not sold, as she went on: ‘I don’t think it’s that easy for anybody to meet a new partner after being, in my case, happily married for 30 years…

‘I don’t like to be a dinosaur so, yes, I did do some online dating and met some very lovely people. I haven’t had that many dates, but they had all worked out who I was before I met them.’

On changing her life since her ‘serious’ job in politics, she said: I think, in some ways, I worry less and I have more joy now…

Happy days: The Strictly Come Dancing star, who is paired with Anton du Beke on this year's show, vowed not to fall victim to the show's fabled 'Curse', as her dance partner is married and she is in a 'newish, lovely relationship' (pictured with Anton at the weekend)

 Happy days: The Strictly Come Dancing star, who is paired with Anton du Beke on this year’s show, vowed not to fall victim to the show’s fabled ‘Curse’, as her dance partner is married and she is in a ‘newish, lovely relationship’ (pictured with Anton at the weekend)

‘I’ve had a very lucky, fulfilled life, but I’m very happy and joyful about the opportunities at the moment and that I think are still to come.’

Jacqui’s marriage was thrust into the spotlight under the haze of controversy when she and Richard were embroiled in the aforementioned expenses scandal. 

Jacqui, the first female ever to hold the Home Secretary position, apologised to parliament after wrongly claiming £116,000 in second home allowances in 2009 and then lost her Redditch seat in an election a year later.

The mother-of-two, now a broadcaster, later paid back the money. 

No curse here! She has now moved on from her political past and her defunct marriage and insists she is happier than ever in her new romance

No curse here! She has now moved on from her political past and her defunct marriage and insists she is happier than ever in her new romance

At the time, she said: ‘I’m enormously sad our 33-year partnership has come to an end but I’ll always be grateful to Richard for the love, family and career we share.’

Ms Smith, a former economics teacher, entered Parliament as MP for Redditch in 1997 when she was 34 after winning the former Tory stronghold. 

One of the original ‘Blair Babes’, she had already been married to Richard, whom she met at teacher training college, for ten years.

By then he was a civil engineer but he gave up his job to bring up their son James when she became an MP.

Awkward: Jacqui, the first female ever to hold the Home Secretary position, apologised to parliament after wrongly claiming £116,000 in second home allowances in 2009 and then lost her Redditch seat in an election a year later (pictured in February)

Awkward: Jacqui, the first female ever to hold the Home Secretary position, apologised to parliament after wrongly claiming £116,000 in second home allowances in 2009 and then lost her Redditch seat in an election a year later (pictured in February) 

Second son Michael was only a year old when Ms Smith, who has kept her maiden name, entered Government as a junior education minister in 1999.

After the 2005 election she became Schools Minister before entering the Cabinet as Chief Whip in 2006. Described by friends as ‘tough as old boots’, she has hung on to the post of Home Secretary for two years.

Meanwhile, her ex-husband, apart from looking after their children, was employed by his wife as her Parliamentary assistant, for which he was paid £40,000 a year.

Since her career in politics ended, Ms Smith has rebranded herself as a TV personality, appearing as a pundit on a variety of current affairs talk shows.

Awkward: Jacqui's marriage was thrust into the spotlight under the haze of controversy when she and Richard were embroiled in the aforementioned expenses scandal (Richard, pictured in 2009)

Awkward: Jacqui’s marriage was thrust into the spotlight under the haze of controversy when she and Richard were embroiled in the aforementioned expenses scandal (Richard, pictured in 2009)

Hey! Her Strictly co-star Caroline Quentin was seen arriving to rehearsals on Wednesday

Hey! Her Strictly co-star Caroline Quentin was seen arriving to rehearsals on Wednesday

Showtime! Professional dancer Johannes Radebe was hot on her heels

Showtime! Professional dancer Johannes Radebe was hot on her heels 

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