‘Weekends together’ for Mills and Jowell

LAST UPDATED AT 09:00 ON Thu 19 Feb 2009

When Labour culture minister Tessa Jowell's husband, David Mills, was sentenced to four-and-a-half-years’ jail on Tuesday for taking a $600,000 bribe from the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, she said: "This is a terrible blow to David and, although we are separated, I have never doubted his innocence." But questions are now being asked about just how ‘separated’ the once golden couple really are.

The Daily Mail reports that while they no longer cohabit in London during the week, Mills and Jowell spend most weekends at the home they still jointly own in Warwickshire and appear, to all intents and purposes, very much a married couple.

Said a friend: "All they have done is live apart in the week and separate all their finances. Sometimes they stay with friends together. I think she doesn't want to be with him all the time at the moment, but she can't leave him alone and move on. It's a very strange sort of love story." Ten days ago, according to the Mail, they were also seen enjoying an intimate meal at the Crown Hotel in Southwold, Suffolk.

Meanwhile, it is also reported that Mills, a lawyer routinely described as 'brilliant', could be struck off the legal register in the light of his conviction in Milan. A spokesman for the Solicitors Regulation Authority said: "We will decide if he has a case to answer and then ask him to explain himself. He could be suspended." As to whether Mills, 64, will ever actually serve his time in an Italian jail, it is thought that by dragging out the appeal process, he should be able to put off the dreadful day forever.

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