Former chancellor George Osborne and his author wife Frances are to divorce after 21 years of marriage, it has been announced.
A statement on behalf of the Evening Standard editor said the pair remain “good friends” and “jointly devoted” to their two children, Liberty and Luke, but had mutually decided to split.
The statement issued to PA said: “George and Frances Osborne have sadly decided to divorce after 21 years of marriage.
“This is a long thought-through and mutual decision. They remain good friends and jointly devoted to their wonderful children.
“For the sake of their children, they ask that the family’s privacy is respected. Neither George nor Frances will be making any comment.”
The pair met at a mutual friend’s house over Sunday lunch, before marrying in 1998.
They were pictured together last year in the royal box at Wimbledon and at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, and Mrs Osborne had previously attended a number of Tory party conferences when her husband served as chancellor between 2010 and 2016.
Mr Osborne stood down as MP for Tatton two years ago and has gone on to hold a number of other roles.
He is a Northern Powerhouse Partnership chairman, and during his editorship of the London newspaper has served as a dean’s fellow at the Stanford Graduate School for Business, an honorary professor of economics at the University of Manchester, and a fellow at the McCain Institute in Washington DC.
He was appointed as an adviser to US investment giant Blackrock in early 2017.
Mrs Osborne, who was educated at the independent Marlborough College and Oxford University before training as a barrister and also working as an investment research analyst and journalist, is the daughter of Tory former minister Lord Howell of Guildford.
She has written three books, including The Bolter which, according to publisher Virago was a Sunday Times bestseller.
Speaking about their relationship in 2012, Mrs Osborne told The Times magazine: “I definitely fell in love with George in spite of him being a politician rather than because of it. On the other hand, I don’t think I could have fallen in love with someone who was just working on their own account.
“Having grown up with my father, whom I’m immensely proud of and who is still, at the age of 76, working as a government minister, it would have to have been someone who was giving back in some way – a doctor or someone at an NGO.”