Congratulations to Sarah Vine. Last night the Mail columnist achieved the almost impossible feat of getting the leader of the Labour Party to defend his party’s favourite pantomime villain: Michael Gove. ‘I feel like I should rush to your husband’s defence now,’ spluttered Ed Miliband on ITV’s Agenda last night, declaring that he was sure that the Education Secretary (Vine’s husband) was a great father.
The secret to Vine’s success is to have no secrets. She is making a career out of revealing the minute details of the power couple’s domestic arrangements. And last night she regaled the show with tales of paternity leave in the Gove household:
‘He hung around the house eating biscuits having cups of tea made for him and looking at the baby and then reading another book and looking a bit more at the baby… he is quite good with children but he’s better with slightly older children.’
Not an ideal description for the Education Secretary, but Vine was not done:
‘The thing is when you’ve just had a baby you sort of don’t really want your husband around, well I, I just didn’t really want anyone else around. Now it’s lovely, but, your life is so mad and complicated that, well the thing about men is that they do have this thing that they like to be the centre of a woman’s attention. So when the baby comes along there is something cuter and more interesting and they can get quite needy.’
Oh dear. Mr S has visions of ‘needy Gove’ becoming the new mantra of the teaching unions.