Shame of Red Rev­erend, the Cor­bynista would-be MP caught hav­ing two af­fairs by his wife

Daily Mail - - News - By John Stevens and Neil Sears

HE’S nick­named the Red Rev­erend for his de­vo­tion to both Jeremy Cor­byn and Christ.

But it would seem the Rev Steven Saxby has been spread­ing a lit­tle too much of the gospel of love.

The 48-year-old has apol­o­gised to his wife of 20 years af­ter she ac­cused him of re­peated af­fairs – in­clud­ing one with a church or­gan­ist.

Mo­men­tum sup­porter Mr Saxby is hop­ing to be­come an MP for Labour in Cities of Lon­don and West­min­ster, one of the party’s key tar­get seats.

Last night he an­nounced he was tak­ing a break from cam­paign­ing and was on leave from his du­ties at Saint Barn­abas in Waltham­stow, East Lon­don, while church offi­cials in­ves­ti­gate the claims.

His wife, Christine, has told friends their mar­riage is strug­gling to sur­vive af­ter she dis­cov­ered he not only had a brief af­fair in Oc­to­ber, but she sus­pected he had been in a se­cret four-year re­la­tion­ship with an in­ter­na­tional pi­anist, who was a mem­ber of their con­gre­ga­tion and who she counted a friend.

Mrs Saxby told friends of her ‘great pain and sad­ness’ at find­ing out about his in­fi­delity. The sus­pected ‘other woman’ is a trained pi­anist and con­duc­tor who came to Lon­don to study for a Mas­ters at the Royal Col­lege of Mu­sic.

Af­ter a brief spell work­ing at the Guild­hall School of Mu­sic and Drama and the Ber­lin Opera Academy, she has now left the coun­try.

The ac­com­plished mu­si­cian, who has per­formed with the Lon­don Phil­har­monic Orches­tra, has played at venues across the world, in­clud­ing in Lon­don at the Royal Fes­ti­val Hall.

In 2016, she took part in a con­cert at Mr Saxby’s church and wrote on her so­cial me­dia ac­count that she was ‘ glad to serve as an oc­ca­sional or­gan­ist’ there.

Mr Saxby won a hotly-con­tested se­lec­tion to be­come Labour’s par­lia­men­tary can­di­date in Cities of Lon­don and West­min­ster in Fe­bru­ary last year af­ter get­ting sup­port from union Unite and the en­dorse­ment of shadow chan­cel­lor John McDon­nell, who de­scribed him as a ‘good so­cial­ist com­rade’.

The cen­tral Lon­don seat, which in­cludes the Houses of Par­lia­ment, was put on Labour’s tar­get list for the next elec­tion, af­ter For­eign Of­fice min­is­ter Mark Field, who has been the Tory MP since 2001, saw his ma­jor­ity slashed from 9,671 to 3,148 in 2017.

Crit­ics, how­ever, ques­tioned Mr Saxby’s suit­abil­ity af­ter a YouTube clip emerged show­ing him speaking along­side fire­brand ex-MP George Gal­loway at a mosque in East

‘Great pain and sad­ness’

Lon­don. In the 2015 film, Mr Saxby ac­cused the Govern­ment of ‘ ex­trem­ism’ by bomb­ing Syria, and claim­ing it was ‘stig­ma­tis­ing Mus­lim chil­dren’ with its anti-rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion Prevent strat­egy.

Mr Cor­byn last year ap­peared at a cam­paign rally along­side Mr Saxby and posed with him hold­ing a plac­ard that said: ‘Steven’s Team’. On his In­sta­gram ac­count, Mr Saxby has posted a se­ries of pic­tures of him­self with other high­pro­file party fig­ures, in­clud­ing shadow for­eign sec­re­tary Emily Thorn­berry and Len McCluskey, the gen­eral sec­re­tary of Unite.

In 2017 he was pictured with his arm around trans­gen­der model Talu­lah-Eve Brown, 23, at a Gay Times award cer­e­mony in Lon­don.

Mr Saxby has been aim­ing for po­lit­i­cal of­fice for years – telling a re­porter in 2015 that he aimed to be­come the first church­man since 1801 to re­main a vicar af­ter be­ing elected to Par­lia­ment.

There has tra­di­tion­ally been ner­vous­ness about cler­gy­men ex­ert­ing pres­sure on con­gre­ga­tions to sup­port a par­tic­u­lar po­lit­i­cal party. To that end Mr Saxby sought to stand in a con­stituency away from his parish.

The clergyman in­tends to re­main the Labour can­di­date for Cities of Lon­don and West­min­ster and is hop­ing to re­turn to work as a vicar in May fol­low­ing a two-month break if the church al­lows it.

It is un­der­stood he is cur­rently liv­ing away from the Ed­war­dian vicarage where his wife and their four chil­dren have re­mained.

In a state­ment, Mr Saxby said: ‘I am im­mensely sorry for the hurt I have caused my wife and fam­ily and will be work­ing to ad­dress the mis­takes I have made over the com­ing months. My fam­ily need space and pa­tience dur­ing this tough time.’

Labour said: ‘This is a per­sonal mat­ter for Steven and his fam­ily.’ The Dio­cese of Chelms­ford said it was in­ves­ti­gat­ing the al­le­ga­tions against Mr Saxby. His wife de­clined to com­ment.

Apol­ogy: Steven Saxby with trans model Talu­lah-Eve

Sup­port: Mr Saxby cam­paign­ing with Labour leader Jeremy Cor­byn

More tea, Rev­erend? The clergyman with his wife of 20 years, Christine

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