My Week: Suzy Gale

The office manager for her MP husband on a week in which her job became threatened by the Kelly report


Monday


I'm the office manager for my husband Roger Gale, Conservative MP for Thanet North, so I drive 15 minutes to the office in Birchington between 6.30 and 7am.

My life is also ruled by our animals and I'm battling with two Newfoundlands, one of whom is on heat so I take Lollie to work with me. I like to do all the emails first thing when it's quiet and I spend a lot of the day answering the phone and working on correspondence. I usually watch the telly in the evening; I'm a great one for the soaps, I'm ashamed to say! I'm always in bed by 10.

Tuesday

After work a constituent comes over to the house to have tea. At 9pm we start to get phone calls about the leak of the Kelly report and get news that MPs' relatives are going to be banned from working for them. I'm very disappointed because Roger and I gave evidence, even though we rather felt that they had made their minds up already. Roger and I have been at this for nearly 27 years now and we feel very strongly that others should be allowed the same opportunities we've had to work together because we know it works. I'm all for openness and transparency and supervision. I'm very proud of what I do and the more openness there is about it, the better. I think the Kelly committee has got it wrong and it should never have been part of the package examined by that committee. This is to do with employment and staffing allowances, so it's very different. The system was abused by only two MPs or something; the rest of us have been dragged into it and are now being penalised.

Wednesday

I wake to find the Kelly report has made front-page news. The day passes in a total blur. My phone never stops ringing for interviews and I try to do all of them because I feel very strongly about it. Other wives and I want our voices to be heard. We are professional, hard-working people. There is no nepotism or sleaze about the job we do: we do it because we're highly qualified to do it. We just happen to be married to our Member of Parliament. I'm used to being the background girl and Roger is the frontman of the operation and it's his job to talk to the media, not mine, so it's quite surreal.

Thursday

I should have been in London doing Westminster "dog of the year" but we couldn't go because of Lollie's condition, so it's work as usual. I don't go up to London much so it's a bit of a shame.

Friday

After work I go and collect for the RSPCA. Friday evenings are quiet as I work Saturdays too. I founded and run a small animal welfare charity called Animals Worldwide and we're holding a quiz night tomorrow night so I prepare for that a bit. Mine and Roger's system works so well for both of us and I know it will work for other people if only we're allowed to go on doing it.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific