My ex and I have our differences, but for one thing I am hugely grateful: he is not Matt Hancock.
However painful and complicated the unravelling of our marriage may be, he has at every turn behaved like a perfect gentleman. Which, it seems, is more than can be said of the former Health Secretary.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph newspaper, a friend of his wife Martha said: ‘Matt Hancock is definitely not a gentleman. He keeps trying to suggest that all is fine when everyone has been left shattered by this.
‘He has been horrible to Martha and has not at any point apologised to her or the rest of the family for what he has done.’
My ex and I have our differences, but for one thing I am hugely grateful: he is not Matt Hancock (pictured with Gina Coladangelo)
The friend added: ‘Martha has been crushed by this. And Matt is only interested in his career and his mistress. He is a despicable individual. He has shown no concern for Martha or for the children.’
Given the latest pictures of Hancock and his new love, Gina Coladangelo, on holiday together in Switzerland, it seems hard to argue otherwise.
The pair have clearly failed to keep a low profile for the sake of Martha (who is suffering from long Covid, no doubt exacerbated by the stress of recent months) and their children.
It is, as so often with politicians, all about him. In some ways, it’s the nature of the beast. It takes unshakable self-belief to be a success in high-level politics, and even when he was a pipsqueak nobody, it was clear that Hancock had the bearing and confidence of a Panzer.
He was just as terrifying too, perfectly willing to switch allegiances in the blink of an eye depending on which way the political winds were blowing.
He climbed over the bodies of a fair few former friends and supporters to get to the top, always convincing himself that he was doing it for the right reasons – even when it was crystal clear to anyone with half a brain that he really wasn’t.
That element of self-delusion is, I find, often key to the behaviour of men like Hancock, who somehow manage to convince themselves that what they are doing is perfectly acceptable – even though it is anything but.
I’m sure it’s what’s allowed him to justify the sacrifice of his family and that of Coladangelo’s in pursuit of the couple’s desires, to try to frame the relationship as love’s young dream rather than a bog-standard workplace affair, the kind of thing powerful men have indulged in since time immemorial.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph newspaper, a friend of his wife Martha (pictured) said: ‘Matt Hancock is definitely not a gentleman’
Even if that were the case, even if he and Coladangelo were soulmates, it’s not something you say in public, not when your jilted wife is still reeling from the shock, not when your children have only just found out.
Why? Because it hurts. Hurts her to know that he’s never been happier; hurts the kids to know that their happiness is secondary to someone else’s.
But Matt can’t see that because he can’t see past the end of his own throbbing ego. Which is why I’m absolutely certain that, as unlikely as it might seem to all sane, ordinary people, Hancock firmly believes he can still ‘have it all’ – and make a swift return to frontline politics.
The notion that a) the country can survive without his brilliance, and b) he might want to keep his head down for a bit, will not have crossed his mind for the simple reason that such a realisation would require a scintilla of self-knowledge, and this is not something he possesses.
And perhaps he’s right. Maybe the general public really don’t care about the rank hypocrisy of a man who puts a country into lockdown and lectures its citizens about who they can and cannot have sex with – while exempting himself from his own rules by snogging an employee.
Maybe they don’t mind about someone who casts himself as a family man while simultaneously pursuing a course of action that’s guaranteed to cause pain to those closest to him.
Maybe they’re OK about a man who rouses his eight-year-old from slumber to tell him he’s leaving his mother before fleeing ahead of the story breaking.
Can you imagine the trauma something like that must cause a child?
Who knows? But if I were Boris, I would steer well clear.
And as for Martha, I really hope she isn’t crushed by this. Because at the end of the day, trust me: No one is looking at Matt and thinking: ‘Great guy, I wish I were married to him.’
For reasons presumably best known to her stylist, Kristen Stewart chose to attend the premiere of her new film about Princess Diana dressed as one of those loo-roll dollies so popular in the 1970s.
Kristen Stewart (pictured) chose to attend the premiere of her new film about Princess Diana dressed as one of those loo-roll dollies so popular in the 1970s
Proof that just because an outfit carries a designer label – in this case Chanel – and a hefty price tag doesn’t mean it automatically makes the wearer look stylish. Those tattoos don’t help, either.
Diet Coke is the latest victim of the supply chain shortages, widely reported as though it were some national disaster.
It’s not. Drink tap water instead – it’s much better for you. And your wallet.
Ordinarily I would be in favour of vaccinating all children (and not just those 16 and over) against Covid; but it seems to me that since the vaccine doesn’t appear to prevent a person from catching it and passing it on, there’s not an awful lot of point.
Far better at this stage to prioritise boosters for the over-50s and the vulnerable.
That way if a child does test positive, it won’t matter so much and they won’t need to miss school or self-isolate for days either. Best of both worlds, or am I missing something?
WHAT FRESH LUNACY IS THIS?
Middlesbrough footballer Marc Bola has been charged with misconduct by the FA over a nine-year-old social media post made when he was 14.
When I was that age I thought I’d marry Simon Le Bon. Come on, FA, you should know better.
Everyone keeps telling me to watch The White Lotus, HBO’s darkly comic tale about a luxury hotel and its crazed inhabitants. And yes, it is undeniably brilliant.
A word of warning, however: the end of episode 4 is not for the faint-hearted.
Or to put it another way, you certainly wouldn’t want to watch it with your mum. As my two teenagers did. Eek!
Dominic Cummings has often been compared to David Cameron’s former special adviser, Steve Hilton.
Both had a disregard for authority, both got up all the wrong people’s noses – and both left No 10 in an almighty huff, Hilton to build a new life in America.
Now, it seems, Cummings is contemplating the same.
Dominic Cummings (pictured) has often been compared to David Cameron’s former special adviser, Steve Hilton – they both had a disregard for authority
He’s looking for an investment of between £1.5 million and £2 million to keep Donald Trump out of the US primaries and usher in a Republican President who ‘would abolish the Pentagon and much of the federal government’.
That’s a very hard rain indeed, even by Dom’s standards.
I will never forget seeing Carrie, then Symonds, dancing barefoot with abandon to her beloved Abba at a friend’s house a few years ago.
It was her 30th birthday party, she looked ravishing and among her many admirers was, of course, one Boris Johnson.
As I recall, he joined in enthusiastically – with rather more finesse than some other politicians I could mention.
Now that Benny, Bjorn, Agnetha and Frida are back together, surely an invitation to Chequers is only a matter of time?
My son starts sixth form this week, and so on Thursday we went shopping for his first suit. I don’t know why, but I found it rather emotional.
Something about seeing that little boy all grown up and lanky in a man’s uniform, shoulders too baggy, collar gaping.
It seems like only yesterday that he was heading off to nursery in his little smock with his name embroidered on it (very badly) by me. Where does the time go?
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Commons Speaker, has updated the rules of the House to emphasise the need for members’ attire to reflect the seriousness of the setting.
‘It is a privilege to serve as a Member of Parliament and your dress, language and conduct should reflect this,’ he says. Quite right.
However, as that infamous shot of Jacob Rees-Mogg slouching like a well-oiled rake on the green benches in an impeccable Savile Row number proves, the cloth does not always maketh the man. Or manners, for that matter.
A chilling thought: it transpires that nearly half of children aged six to 11 in the UK have an active social media account such as TikTok.
Which means they also have access to the rest of the internet, which in turn basically means that there is no such thing as a childhood any more.
If China can restrict online gaming for under-18s to three hours a week, then why can’t we do something similar?
Or do our governments simply not care that the adults of tomorrow are growing up on a junk diet of fake news and porn?