It appears that Hugo Swire has had his wife on his payroll for many years, currently at a salary of around £35,000 per year. He describes her as “Senior Researcher/Parliamentary Assistan”. However, in this interview it given in 2016, it seems to be described somewhat differently:
“It’s an irreconcilable job being a minister, because you’ve got your department’s responsibilities, you’ve got your parliamentary responsibilities, you’ve probably got travel on top of that, you’ve then got your parliamentary office saying ‘Am I ever going to see you? You’ve got three months of correspondence to catch up on.’ You’ve got then your constituency saying ‘We haven’t seen you for years’, and then you’ve got your family, if you have a family, saying ‘Hello, remember us? Where do we fit into all this?’ And so you’re doing this the entire time.
You’re quite tired and you’re dropping a ball somewhere – which is why you need this extraordinary support and infrastructure. So for instance the biggest demand, the biggest bug bear and the biggest challenge was the diary, which was planned way ahead.
I used to have my wife come in sometimes, Sue [House of Commons office] would come over, my diary secretary would be there and they’d literally be bidding for bits of me! [laughter] And it was a nightmare, because you were trying to keep everyone calm, because Sue would say ‘Well, it’s fine, I’ll just tell them you’re not going to see them for another six months’ and then my wife would say ‘That’s fine if you want to miss one of our daughters’ birthdays and you’re in Guatemala’ and then my diary secretary would say ‘Remember, you have promised you’re going here.’ So there were all these tensions. And I think unless you’re part of that it’s very difficult to understand the different demands! …”