Lord Goldsmith admits past affair

The attorney general has admitted to having an extra-marital affair with an influential female barrister.

But responding to newspaper reports that broke the story this morning, Lord Goldsmith insisted that the matter was “all in the past”.

The government’s senior legal adviser said in a statement that his wife of 33 years was aware of the affair and that it was a “private matter”.

Tony Blair has already defended the 57-year-old, telling BBC1’s Sunday AM programme that he was doing a “fantastic job”.

“He is someone we are very lucky to have in government,” he added.

Lord Goldsmith’s statement issued today said: “My wife knows all about this and has done for some time.

“It is all in the past and we are both very happy. This is a private matter and my wife and I have no further comment to make.”

He and his wife Joy have three sons and one daughter.

The life peer controversially ruled in 2003 that the invasion of Iraq was legal, despite international and British Foreign Office insistence to the contrary.