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Michael Gove’s wife Sarah Vine: ‘I thought of sending our kids to Italy to get away from hatred’

PUBLISHED: 13:09 22 May 2014 | UPDATED: 13:09 22 May 2014

Sarah Vine. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Sarah Vine. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

The wife of education secretary Michael Gove told an audience how she has considered sending her children to live in Italy to shield them from the “hate” directed towards their father in the UK.

Michael Gove. Picture: PA/Joe Giddens Michael Gove. Picture: PA/Joe Giddens

Daily Mail columnist Sarah Vine spoke about her experience as a top politician’s wife during a talk at a charity fundraising lunch held at Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue, in Norrice Lea. the Suburb.

Ms Vine, who has a son, William, and daughter, Beatrice, with Mr Gove, was in conversation with Sky News presenter Samantha Simmonds, a Suburb resident, at a private fundraising lunch held in aid of the British wing of Emunah, a charity supporting vulnerable Israeli children.

Speaking about her own children, Ms Vine told the audience: “They are 11 and nine now, they’ve just got to the age where they understand what he [Mr Gove] does and they understand that people hate him because people will say things to them in the playground.

“One of Beatrice’s own teachers went on strike and then she said that she saw him on Newsround holding a banner going “Michael Gove out” which I think is quite a strange experience for a small child – and I don’t know how it’s going to affect them at all.

Sarah Vine (right) and Samantha Simmonds. Picture: Nigel Sutton.Sarah Vine (right) and Samantha Simmonds. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

“Part of me wants to put them on a plane to go and live with my mother in Italy, but part of me thinks it will make them tougher.

“They are not shrinking violets – it’s not as though they’re delicate flowers – they are quite sturdy creatures, but I do think at some point there is going to be payback.”

Ms Vine also spoke about her move last year from The Times to the Daily Mail, as well as giving her views on female body image during the talk last Thursday.

But it was her commentary on married life with Mr Gove, described as a “great supporter of Israel”, that proved most fascinating.

"There are a lot of people who really, really hate Michael who send emails saying, ‘I hope you die’"

Sarah Vine, wife of Michael Gove

She admitted the “one thing that really upsets me” are the emails of abuse that are sent.

“There are a lot of people who really, really hate Michael who send emails saying, ‘I hope you die’,” she said.

“I used to believe that socialists were nice but misguided. Now I know that they are not nice at all. They are very vicious and aggressive people who do really horrible things.”

The lunch, attended by 120 guests, raised more than £7,000 to fund computer equipment for an Emunah children’s home in Israel through ticket sales and a raffle.

Michelle Hirschfield and Esther Lee, co-chairmen of Emunah’s functions committee, welcomed guests and British Emunah chairman Hilary Pearlman also gave a vote of thanks.

Shlomo Kessel, director of an Emunah children’s home in Afula, Israel, said: “Together with my wife and our wonderful team we have been given the chance to make so many lives better.

“Children who have lost their ability to trust the adult world and have been traumatised by years of neglect and instability find themselves at Emunah Afula, like all our children’s homes, in an environment that nurtures and protects them.”

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