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Another sex scandal rocks Tory Government

A Tory Cabinet Minister is in the middle of a sex scandal after he allegedly cheated on his wife and slept with a blonde lover.

world Updated: Jan 23, 2011 18:00 IST

A Tory Cabinet Minister is in the middle of a sex scandal after he allegedly cheated on his wife and slept with a blonde lover. 50 year old Lord Strathclyde, the Leader of the Lords, allegedly seduced 48 year old Birgit Cunningham, a former friend of Liz Hurley and ex girlfriend of Kevin Costner, at her flat and at his 3 million pounds Westminster home, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

Their last tryst is said to have taken place nine days ago on Friday, January 14, when Lord Strathclyde took time off from his Cabinet duties to visit Roedean educated Cunningham, it said.

Lord Strathclyde, one of the last genuine Tory grandees and among Prime Minister David Cameron's most trusted confidants, allegedly gave Cunningham 40 pounds when he visited her.

The half Belgian hereditary peer, born as Thomas Galloway Dunlop du Roy de Blicquy Galbraith, has been happily married to his wife Jane for nearly 20 years, the paper said. They have three daughters and divide their time between their London home and Lord Strathclyde's family estate in Mauchline, Ayrshire.

Cunningham was a member of the so called Brit Pack of celebrities and socialites who took Hollywood by storm in the eighties. She has a son by a partner, Sir Harry Nuttall, but now describes herself as a single mother. According to a newspaper report, Lord Strathclyde seduced Cunningham after she contacted him pleading for help in her battle with the Child Support Agency, the 'Daily Mail' stated.

The pair first became friends in 1987 when Cunningham met the peer on the London socialites' party scene. She worked as stockbroker in the City and lived on a private estate in Surrey, it said. Cunningham moved to the US in the 1990s where she lived with Miss Hurley, dated Kevin Costner and partied with stars including Brad Pitt and Naomi Campbell.

She returned to London in 1997, becoming a Press officer for the Green party, and fell for millionaire former racing driver Harry Nuttall, a baronet

They had a son Jack, 8, but Cunningham says the child's father offered to pay only 5.40 pounds a week; leaving her struggling to raise her son in a run-down council flat above a chip shop in Ladbroke Grove, West London, it said.