April 23 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, urging more fathers to take up their paternity rights, was upstaged by his Spanish-born wife, Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, who called on him to say men who look after their children don’t lack “cojones.”
Most British political spouses are content to remain in the background, stepping out for the occasional photocall. Today Clegg’s lawyer wife, attending an event with her husband, called publicly for him to be more clear in his support for male parenting.
“I’m assuming I don’t have to translate ‘cojones’,” Clegg said at the launch of Cityfathers, a new forum for working fathers balancing office and family life. “Of course I agree with you Miriam.”
Clegg said new childcare subsidies worth as much as 2,000 pounds ($3,353) a year per child are designed to encourage women to return to work, arguing that Britain’s parental leave system -- where fathers are entitled to two weeks on the birth of a newborn and mothers a year -- is based on an outdated assumption that men are the main wage earners.
Gonzalez, who works for Dechert LLP focusing on international and European Union trade law policy, is widely reported to out-earn her husband, who as deputy prime minister is paid 134,565 pounds a year. The couple have three sons, Antonio, Alberto and Miguel.
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