Amber Rudd speaks of the moment she discovered her late husband AA Gill was having an affair

Katie French
Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd - AP

Amber Rudd, the former Home Secretary, has spoken publicly for the first time about discovering her late ex-husband was having an affair more than two decades ago. 

The Conservative politician was married to the late restaurant critic AA Gill for five years when she suspected he was being unfaithful. 

Ms Rudd revealed her suspicions were proven correct when she went to surprise him from Heathrow Airport as he was returning from an assignment in Monte Carlo. 

She described watching the father of her two children walk through the arrivals hall on the arm of another woman, South African-born model and journalist Nicola Formby.

Ms Rudd described feeling devastated but said there was no dramatic show down. Instead she offered to drive the pair of them back home and said they exchanged awkward pleasantries as they were sat in the traffic. 

Ms Rudd told the Daily Mail: "We were all in denial. 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.' 

AA Gill, photographed in 2004 with his partner of 23 years Nicola Formby Credit: PA

Gill left Ms Rudd shortly after the incident in 1995, when their two children Flora and Alasdair were three and one respectively. 

Reflecting about the marital breakdown, Ms Rudd told the newspaper: "I was so devastated and found it difficult. As the mother of young children when the father leaves, you feel extraordinary guilt, which is irrational because it's not something you've done. But you can't help feeling when their father has left: what have you done to your children?"

Gill went on to have two more children with Tatler writer Ms Formby and the pair stayed together until he died from cancer in 2016.  

He often made reference to her in his restaurant reviews, citing her only as 'the Blonde'. 

This is the first time that Ms Rudd has spoken publicly about their marriage. Despite the initial heartache, Ms Rudd said after hearing of his fatal illness in 2016 they became close again, while all four children "mucked in" to help support him in his last days. The writer died at Charring Cross Hospital in December 2016.