A furious Tessa Jowell, Minister of Culture, decided to separate from her husband David Mills after it emerged that the businessman had attempted to trade on his relationship with Tony Blair, The Independent on Sunday can today reveal.
However, the couple's announcement yesterday that they were to live apart failed to win the Culture Secretary even a temporary reprieve from the intense pressure created by her husband's business dealings.
Ms Jowell will tomorrow face calls to answer an urgent question in the House of Commons over her claims not to have known about a £344,000 payment to her husband, which is at the centre of an Italian corruption investigation.
In a statement from Mr Mills's lawyer announcing the separation, the scale of his estranged wife's anger was vividly underlined. "He is as mortified as she has been angered by the embarrassment he has caused her," the statement said. Allies denied that the lawyer's statement, faxed to the Press Association, was a cynical "career-saving move".
This is too high (low?) a standard for Israeli politicians.