Devizes MP Claire Perry has told how her 17-year marriage to husband Clayton looks as if it has broken down.  Mrs Perry said that she was very sad, but that it was an amicable process.

She said: “Our marriage has become increasingly difficult for several years. It’s nobody’s fault, no one is to blame, despite our best efforts, we have just grown steadily apart.”

Mr and Mrs Perry, both 47, met in New York in 1994 while they were both working in the financial sector there. They married in England and settled in Salisbury when they returned to the UK some years later. Mr Perry, New Zealand born, is an asset manager in financial services and the couple have three children.

Mrs Perry said: “We both have demanding jobs and for some time we have been leading very separate lives.   But we still live under the same roof in Wiltshire and in London and it is entirely manageable.  After 19 years together our primary focus is on our children.  It is terribly sad and difficult for them and they are and will always be our main priority.”

Mrs Perry said that discussions are continuing between her and Mr Perry about the next stage and they have not yet put any legal machinery in gear leading to a divorce.

She cited her reasons for telling the Gazette and Herald about the situation, saying “Although this is a private and very sad matter for my family, I wanted my constituents to know the facts from me through their reliable local newspaper and not from gossip or tittle-tattle.

"I expect some will be worried that this will interfere with my ability to do my job and I would like to reassure them that whatever happens this will not affect the way I represent them locally or in Parliament and that I am totally committed to being the MP for the Devizes Constituency.”

Mrs Perry is still looking to move into her Constituency after encountering difficulty selling the family home in Broadchalke, near Salisbury.  

She said: “I pledged that I would move to the Constituency as soon as I had been elected, but it has proved harder than we thought to sell our house.  I am looking at houses in the Devizes area and I hope I can move in before long.”

Mrs Perry said she had been keeping her local supporters fully informed of the situation.

 She said: “MPs should never spring surprises on their associations and this issue was no different. I told them of our difficulties a while ago and my association could not have been more supportive.”