EXCLUSIVE: Don't undermine leaders' wives, says Cherie Blair
ON leaving Number 10 Cherie Blair made her relief at exiting the political media circus clear, telling the press I won't miss you! . But she seemed happy to duck back in this week, albeit very briefly, for the sake of showing her support
ON leaving Number 10 Cherie Blair made her relief at exiting the political media circus clear, telling the press "I won't miss you!".
But she seemed happy to duck back in this week, albeit very briefly, for the sake of showing her support for Karen Buck.
Her appearance at the Westminster North Labour incumbent's office was part of a round of visits to endorse women candidates.
She was recently in Swindon campaigning for Anne Snelgrove and before that Luciana Berger in her former hometown of Liverpool.
Arriving at Shirland Road on Wednesday, the 55-year-old barrister cut a relaxed and friendly figure.
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Dressed in a striking red jacket, she spent time chatting to party volunteers and posing for photographs with Ms Buck.
"I'm still very passionate about the Labour Party and in this election I've been doing a lot of campaigning for women candidates," she told the Wood&Vale.
"I think one of the great achievements when Tony came into power was the number of women candidates which came in with him."
And as one of the original 'Blair babes', she described Ms Buck as a "fantastic local MP"
"She knows this area and she is devoted to helping the people living here," she said.
She had less to say about the local Conservative candidate Joanne Cash, although she is clearly aware of the fellow barrister's high-profile spat with her own association's chairwoman.
"I've never met the lady myself but I understand she had a falling out with her own party, which is not very good management," she said.
On the subject of political wives, Ms Blair has more knowledge than most of what Sarah Brown, 'Sam Cam' and Clegg's other half Miriam Gonzalez Durantez are going through.
But with public comments often coming back to haunt her, she seems wary about putting her views on record when asked about the trio.
Even with her considerable experience as a political wife she refuses to offer up any tips about surviving life in Downing Street.
"I'm sure none of them need my advice," she said.
However, she is not above having a pop at the papers' coverage of the leaders' three spouses.
"The papers always have to fill up space," she said.
"All three of the party's leaders' wives are considerable women in their own rights and deserve more than comments about their clothes," she said.
"But the point is we're not voting for them, we're voting for a whole government, which has a whole team with a vision for the future.
"That's what democracy is all about. The wives are there in this campaign to support their husbands."
The only other obvious question is who will she be selecting at the ballot box?
It turns out that she has voted earlier by post and living in Ms Buck's neighbouring constituency of Cities of London and Westminster she has gone for Labour's only celebrity candidate - Blur drummer Dave Rowntree.
"Dave has already got my vote," she confirmed.