'Devastated and Saddened, Shaking from Limb to Limb' Ex-MP's Wife Speaks Out

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), January 29, 2007 | Go to article overview

'Devastated and Saddened, Shaking from Limb to Limb' Ex-MP's Wife Speaks Out


Byline: By Catherine Jones and Paul Carey Western Mail

The wife of Liberal Democrat peer Lord Carlile of Berriew has spoken of her devastation at discovering her husband's relationship with a barrister 15 years his junior. Lady Carlile, who lives in Welshpool, said the former MP for Montgomeryshire had admitted a five-month affair with 43-year-old barrister Alison Levitt while they were still together. Lord Carlile, who is in charge of reviewing anti-terror laws, has now moved Ms Levitt into the flat near his London chambers that he once shared with Frances, his wife of 37 years.

'He left me last February and said then that it had been going on for five months,' said Lady Carlile, a sculptor who plays a key role in the world of Welsh arts, having links with the Gregynog classical music festival and the Welshpool Choral Society.

'I was devastated and saddened. I was shaking from limb to limb. I had an inkling that there might have been something going on because I had met her (Alison) and I had told Alex that I was jealous.

'But at the time he said jealousy was an ugly emotion that eats you up. That was probably his way of dealing with his guilt.'

Lady Carlile said her 58-year-old husband, an eminent QC, had told her he was 'bored' with her and revealed that he had had another affair years earlier when their children were very young.

'He said he's done it because he was bored with me. And he admitted he's had another affair when the children were very young. He said it lasted for several years but that it had meant nothing.

'He couldn't understand why I was so upset and why I felt it made a mockery of the trust between us.'

Lady Carlile, described on her website as a feminist sculptor, still lives in her husband's former constituency but the couple have sold their pounds 600,000 cottage in Berriew. They have three daughters and four grandchildren.

On a website featuring her work, Lady Carlile is described as a sculptor 'who explores absence, loss and isolation.'

Born in 1950 in Falkirk, Scotland, she has a raft of qualifications from prestigious art establishments in London.

'I met Alex when I was 16 and I still find it hard to believe that this has happened. …

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