Diary of an MP’s Wife: Inside and Outside Power by Sasha Swire - review by Michael White

Michael White

The Camerons Who Knew Me

Diary of an MP’s Wife: Inside and Outside Power


Little, Brown 538pp £20 order from our bookshop

The public-spirited citizen may already have heard faint rumblings about Sasha Swire’s Diary of an MP’s Wife, despite her best efforts to avoid publicity. Astonishment and some disapproval have been voiced about both its contents and Lady Swire’s decision to cash in on decidedly private conversations with close friends like Sam and Dave (Swire-speak for the Camerons). Former friends by now perhaps, because our diarist claims that in 2011 the then prime minister told her he wanted to ‘push you into the bushes and give you one’.

This racy anecdote is one of many that appeared in the serialisation of this book in The Times and were widely reported. But is it true or even credible? At the time Cameron had, as he saw it, ‘just won a war’ by liberating Tripoli, and he had certainly given one to the late Colonel Gaddafi. So perhaps he was in high spirits on the clifftop near his beloved Polzeath when the smell of Sasha’s perfume prompted the alleged exchange. The PM’s security detail must have been present. Would the lads have averted their gaze while Dave exercised his droit de seigneur amid the seagull poo? Was he merely being playfully gallant in a boisterous Etonian way towards an old friend of a certain age (then forty-eight and four years his senior)?

Swire is not the kind of diarist to tax herself with such questions. In her own mind, she is a bit of a character, a glamorous femme fatale and gobby party wife who fearlessly takes on senior politicians, visiting diplomats, even royalty (no ‘grin-and-curtsy shit’), especially those like Sophie Wessex

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter