Amber Rudd reveals the day she caught late ex-husband AA Gill having an affair

Nick Charity

Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd has opened up about discovering her late ex-husband A A Gill had an affair over 20 years ago.

Adrian Anthony Gill, the well-known writer and restaurant critic, had written about his personal life and battle with alcoholism, and died from cancer in 2016, aged 62.

Former Tory front-bencher Amber Rudd has described how she discovered her husband was having an affair as she waited for him to return from an assignment in Monte Carlo.

And as she stood at the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport she watched as he landed with another woman on his arm.

Amber Rudd and AA Gill, helping her political campaign in 2005. The pair became friends again after the break-up in 1995. (Reuters)

Ms Rudd said she had been convinced he was cheating on her, and waited at the airport hoping to see for herself. She confronted the pair as they arrived in the UK, but without saying anything of the infidelity, simply offered her husband and his mistress a lift back to London.

Amazingly, Gill and the mistress accepted, and the three of them exchanged awkward pleasantries as they sat in traffic, Ms Rudd revealed in an interview with the Daily Mail.

She told: "We were all in denial.

"I was suspicious he was having an affair. I thought there might be more to the Monte Carlo trip than he had let on, so I decided to turn up unannounced at Heathrow to see for myself. When he came out with his girlfriend I knew it was true.

"He mumbled something feeble about them having been on the same assignment. It was obviously nonsense, but we all pretended nothing had happened.

"I didn't want to have a fight with her. She wasn't my enemy — I've never felt that. I've had a few laughs about it since then, but it was upsetting at the time."

The events unfolded in 1995, when Ms Rudd was in her 20s and working at JP Morgan, and the married couple had two children, Flora and Alasdair, both in their twenties.

Rudd and Gill split the same year, and he spent the rest of his life with the South African-born model and journalist Nicola Formby.

This is the first time that Rudd has talked publicly about her marriage to Gill, held by many as the most talented newspaper critic of his generation and a controversial writer, who reportedly had 62 complaint made against him to the Press Complaints Commission in the space of five years.

Gill used to refer to his companion in newspaper columns as "the blonde" - leading on readers for years over who his mysterious companion could be.

Ms Rudd added that after hearing of his fatal illness in 2016 they became close again, and Gill's children from respective relationships all "mucked in" together to support him in his final days. He died in Charring Cross Hospital on December 10.