UK Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove to divorce

Couple's representative says it is 'an entirely amicable separation and there is no one else involved'

FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 file photo, Britain's Environment Secretary Michael Gove arrives at Downing Street. London. British Environment Secretary Michael Gove has on Friday, June 7 admitted using cocaine on “several occasions” two decades ago, as Conservative Party leadership hopefuls rush to admit past sins and avoid any surprises during what is expected to be a heated contest. Gove is the latest candidate in the race to replace Prime Minister Theresa May to acknowledge using banned substances. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

UK Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, one of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's most senior ministers, has separated from his wife and they are planning to divorce, the couple's representative said on Friday.

"It is an entirely amicable separation and there is no one else involved. They have drifted apart over the past couple of years but they remain friends," said the representative for Mr Gove and his wife, Sarah Vine, a well-known journalist.

The representative said they had "agreed to separate" and are "in the process of finalising their divorce".

"They will continue to support their two children and they remain close friends," the representative said. "The family politely ask for privacy at this time and will not be providing any further comment."

A friend of the couple confirmed to PA that there was no other person involved in the separation.

"Their absolute priority is the children," the friend said.

Ms Vine is a columnist for the UK's Daily Mail newspaper. Following the revelation of Matt Hancock's Covid restriction-flouting affair, she penned a column describing the pressures of being married to a politician.

"In the end, there are two types of politicians. Those who can walk away from power – and those who can’t. And who will compromise everything for the sake of it," Ms Vine wrote.

It is now clear this broadside was not solely directed at the philandering former health secretary.

Updated: July 2nd 2021, 8:21 PM