British minister accused of cheating wife

January 23rd, 2011 - 9:33 pm ICT by IANS  

David Cameron London, Jan 23 (IANS) A British minister was caught in a sex scandal over allegations that he cheated on his wife and had an extramarital affair with a single mother for seven years.Lord Strathclyde, the Leader of the Lords, reportedly seduced Birgit Cunningham, a former friend of Liz Hurley and ex-girlfriend of Kevin Costner, at her flat and at his Westminster home, Daily Mail reported Sunday.

Their last tryst is said to have taken place Jan 14, when Strathclyde took time off from his Cabinet duties to visit Roedean-educated Cunningham, 48, at her London home.

Strathclyde, 50, one of most trusted confidants of Prime Minister David Cameron, allegedly gave Cunningham 40 pounds when he visited her.

The half-Belgian hereditary peer, born as Thomas Galloway Dunlop du Roy de Blicquy Galbraith, has been happily married to his wife Jane for nearly 20 years.

Cunningham was a member of the so-called Brit Pack of celebrities and socialites who took Hollywood by storm in the 1980s. But while some, such as Hurley, became stars, Cunningham had no such success.

She has a son by a partner, Sir Harry Nuttall, but now describes herself as a single mother.

According to a newspaper report, Lord Strathclyde seduced Cunningham after she contacted him pleading for help in her battle with the Child Support Agency, the Mail said.

At their most recent meeting Jan 14, he is said to have turned up at her flat with a bottle of white wine, telling her to put it in the fridge.

The peer reportedly thrust 40 pounds into her handbag and tucked into Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference smoked salmon and drank chilled Sancerre 2008 white wine, while relaxing on her couch and removing his tie.

Cunningham is said to have used the opportunity to complain about the CSA and express her worries about getting a good state education for her eight-year-old son.

Now Cunningham has alleged that Lord Strathclyde had “taken advantage” of her in a seven-year on-off affair at a time when she was “vulnerable”.

“I’m not proud of sleeping with a married man. I feel betrayed. I’m talking about this now because I’m fed up of this government’s hypocrisy and how they preach to us about family values,” she was quoted as saying.

“They make speeches about it yet, at the same time, a senior Cabinet Minister and friend of David Cameron is sneaking away from his wife to have sex with me.”

She says she met up with Strathclyde eight years ago to pursue her campaign to change the CSA, but claims he simply used her for sex. “Now I just feel angry and used.”

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