The columnist, who has been married to cabinet minister Michael Gove since 2001, explained that when a person reaches high political ranks they require their partner to be “as much a courtesan as a companion, one who understands their brilliance.” Not someone, she continued, “who thinks it’s all a monumental nuisance and wishes they would get a proper job that doesn’t involve people poking cameras in your face and commenting on your poor choice of footwear.”
Writing in her Mail on Sunday column, she said: “The problem with the wife who has known you since way before you were king of the world is that she sees through your façade… She knows that, deep down inside, you are not the Master of the Universe you purport to be.”
Vine, 54, who has two children with Gove, 53, explained that spending hours in Westminster makes it easy to become disconnected from partners and domestic life.
She said: “Ministers are surrounded by people telling them how brilliant they are. Their departments treat them like feudal barons. Their every whim is treated as law. No one ever says No to them.
“How can anyone be expected to put the bins out when they’ve just got home from a day saving the world? Domestic life can seem dull and dispiriting by comparison. And so, they begin to avoid it,” she wrote.
She added: “It doesn’t take a huge leap of imagination to see how you can go from being happily married to the kind of person who gets caught so unfortunately on CCTV.”
Although the video was taken in May, Vine said an interview Hancock did during lockdown last year that rang an “alarm bell”.
In The Telegraph interview Hancock referenced his wife of 15 years, Martha, with whom he has three children – a daughter and two sons aged 14, 13 and eight.
“Asked about how the family had been coping, he said ‘of course, Martha’s borne the brunt of it’, adding: ‘Thank God Martha is totally wonderful in looking after the children and looking after me, and it’s really tough,’ Hancock said.
Vine said while this may sound like a compliment “the dynamic it implies is that of two people on very different paths”.
She explained: “It is very hard to do these high-level, high-pressure, high-stakes jobs unless you have someone prepared to take up the reins in every other department of your life. But the problem is that inevitably sets you on different tracks. You become so entrenched in your respective roles that you begin to drift apart.”