Clarke Gayford is not the first male partner of a PM

Leaders and their spouses pose for a group photo outside the Elbphilharmonie philharmonic concert hall

Prime Minister Xavier Bettel’s husband, Gauthier Destenay like Clarke Gayford has to attend official visits along with his spouse and so does Theresa May’s husband Phillip. As New Zealand’s First bloke and the boyfriend and baby daddy of PM Jacinda Ardern, Gayford is expected to accompany her. There are many partners of PM’s who have gone before him for him to model himself on and to whom to look for guidance in how to present himself while in New Zealand and especially when overseas.

Gauthier Destenay like the spouses of the other PMs presents himself in a suit and tie, appropriate for the occasion. Phillip does the same.

Theresa May and her husband Philip John arrive for the concert at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg
IMAGE: ALAMY

Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel waves as he poses with his husband, Belgian Gauthier Destenay, after their wedding ceremony at Luxembourg’s city hall, May 15, 2015.

So far Gayford’s presentation has left a lot to be desired.

Gayford still got the casual look going in Tonga. Ardern’s feet must be taking a hammering as the expensive slippers have been wheeled out again. Photo-Sally


Our PM and Clarke Gayford are welcomed to Niue Photo-Twitter


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrives in Samoa with her partner, Clarke Gayford, Photo: Pool photo / Michael Craig / New Zealand Herald

On occasion, he did show some improvement like in this photo taken in Tonga.

PM Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford in Tonga

But other occasions he reverted to casual dress as if he were on a holiday, not an official visit.

Jacinda Ardern, her partner Clarke Gayford and delegation were welcomed with a Takalo – a traditional Niue war dance


To be fair some of the politicians accompanying them also dressed casually.

National MPs Alfred Ngaro and Gerry Brownlee and Green Party Co-leader and Climate Change Minister James Shaw meet students of GPS Fasi moe Afi Primary School

But not all of them did.

A New Zealand tailored suit maker needs to take Gayford in hand as soon as possible. He is not doing the PM any favours dressing down on official visits.


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