MEET THE OTHER EDWINAS; So What Happened to the Women Who Turned Mr Major's Back to Basics into a Farce? One's a Bornagain Christian, Another Writes 'Chick-Lit' Fiction and a Third Looks after Her Lover's Young Daughter

By Chalmers, Sarah | Daily Mail (London), October 5, 2002 | Go to article overview

MEET THE OTHER EDWINAS; So What Happened to the Women Who Turned Mr Major's Back to Basics into a Farce? One's a Bornagain Christian, Another Writes 'Chick-Lit' Fiction and a Third Looks after Her Lover's Young Daughter


Chalmers, Sarah, Daily Mail (London)


Byline: SARAH CHALMERS

EDWINA CURRIE'S revelations about her four-year affair with John Major have exposed the ultimate hypocrisy of his infamous Back to Basics policy which had already been sabotaged when his own ministers seemed incapable of staying faithful to their wives.

Already, Minister for Fun David Mellor had had an affair with softporn actress Antonia de Sancha.

One by one they fell like dominoes: Tim Yeo, Hartley Booth, Piers Merchant. Their desperate, pathetic attempts to remain in office became the real-life soap operas of the Nineties. We all know what happened to Mrs Currie but what about the other Tory mistresses? To find out SARAH CHALMERS tracked down the 'Tory Trollops' . . .

JULIA FELTHOUSE

THEN: A voluptuous, leggy, divorced 28-year- old PR girl for the Canine National Defence League (NCDL) who in 1996 was introduced to little-known junior Welsh minister Rod Richards.

They had an affair and she told how the 47-year-old married father-of-three tied her to the bed with silk scarves and made love to her in the Commons and at his family home.

Richards was promptly sacked by John Major and was voted out as an MP in 1997. He was subsequently elected to the Welsh Assembly but later resigned.

He and wife Liz, a psychologist, are currently divorcing.

NOW: Julia fled to Italy after her kissand-tell story to a Sunday tabloid.

She was visited by a friend, Eugene Crighton, who she had known for five years on a purely platonic level.

The couple then married, had a baby and now live in South London. Julia had given up her job at the NCDL and was later employed as a PR officer by the Royal National Institute for the Deaf. She now works in PR for the Local Government Association.

Her verdict on the Major/ Currie affair: 'I think this is all so tired and I don't believe anyone cares. I have moved on and I don't want people harping back to what happened to me.

'It certainly didn't help my career. I made a mistake, by having an affair with a married man. The relationship lasted just eight weeks - which is incredible when you think of the devastation it caused.

'I feel immense regret that we were the fundamental cause of tremendous pain for his family.

'Society has to find someone to blame - and it is always easier to pick fault with the other woman.'

JULIA STENT

THEN: Tory Environment Minister Tim Yeo, 48, was a married father-of-two when he had a yearlong affair with lawyer Julia Stent, 34 (also a Hackney councillor and member of the local Conservative Association).

She gave birth to their 'love child' yet Yeo initially refused to resign and declared his devotion to Diane, his wife of 27 years.

Ultimately he was forced to step down. He is still MP for South Suffolk, still married but regularly visits his and Julia's nine-year-old daughter Claudia-Marie.

NOW: Julia, the daughter of an accountant, and onetime partner in a City law firm, was forced to relinquish her council seat. She went into hiding for nearly two weeks and admits Yeo's reluctance to resign intensified the attention on her.

'I didn't want Tim to lose his job, but, of course, on reflection, I wish he'd gone quickly.' Eventually, she decided to end the relationship. At the time she refused to discuss the affair but four years later, angered by Yeo's constant voicing of his regret over the relationship, she spoke bitterly of his attitude towards child support.

'He doesn't make it easy when it comes to Claudia's maintenance. I don't know when it's coming in. He has to be nagged every time for it.'

Nevertheless, she described Yeo as a very good father who visited Claudia every few weeks.

Today she lives with her daughter in Northampton.

Julia says: 'Claudia is everything to me. …

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