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21 April 2015updated 25 Jul 2021 6:18am

Miriam González Durántez hits out at the “victim complex“ of politicians and their families in the public eye

The international trade lawyer and wife of the Deputy Prime Minister discusses election campaign scrutiny, defending her husband's record, and protecting her family from the public eye.

By Anoosh Chakelian

Miriam González Durántez, the international trade lawyer and wife of Nick Clegg, has done a live webchat with Mumsnet. In it, she speaks frankly about family life during the election campaign and her experience as a politician’s wife.

Her strongest words were aimed at those politicians painting themselves as victims of media scrutiny:

Having been married to Nick, the Deputy Prime Minister of this country for the last five years, and seeing British politics so close-by has been a privilege. I do not agree ‘at all’ with the victim complex that seems to be applied recently to some politicians and their families. If there are difficult times we deal with them together as a family, as I suppose most families do. But I can guarantee you that most of what families of politicians go through is nothing in comparison to the issues that other families have to deal with.

But probably the most exciting revelation, which she feared would land her in trouble with Lib Dem press officers – “when my husband’s advisers learn this they are going to freak out!” – was her recipe blog. She has been teaching her children (three sons called Antonio, Alberto and Miguel) to cook, and running a food blog with them for three years called “Mum and Sons”.

Yet in spite of what sounds like quite an idyllic homelife, González Durántez won’t be forced to portray a certain image of her life with her husband for political purposes:

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I have always accepted public scrutiny provided I am not asked to pretend we are a Kellogs family, because we are not one. 

She and Clegg have indeed been quite reticent about making their private life public, never releasing pictures of their children, and generally protecting them from the press. As a Spanish citizen, González Durántez can’t even vote for her husband in the general election.

However, she did appear recently (as the other two main party leaders’ wives have done) in an interview set in their kitchen. She’s also been out campaigning with some of the women running for Lib Dem seats, and hinted at political aspirations of her own during her Mumsnet chat:

I cannot even vote in this country, so there is no chance I could be a candidate. Though I would tell you this; I would have given my right arm to have been able to do for my country what Nick has done for his. 

As well as cooking, González Durántez filled us in on her television preferences. In terms of courtroom dramas, she enjoys The Good Wife more than Suits (joking that by “Daily Mail standards she would be the Bad Wife!”), and would have preferred a different actor playing her husband in Channel 4’s recent film about the coalition: “I only watched the end . . . and still think George Clooney would have been a so much better fictional husband!”

I’ve yet to hear back from the actor who played Clegg, Bertie Carvel, for comment…

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