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Thursday, 3 August, 2000, 01:12 GMT 02:12 UK
A thoroughly modern woman
Sarah Macaulay
Sarah Macaulay grew up in London
Sarah Macaulay, a bustling, power-dressed businesswoman, has been the woman in Gordon Brown's life since 1996.

Friends of Mr Brown said at the time that "they were simply made for one another".

Ms Macaulay was 34 and worked in a public affairs consultancy when she first met Mr Brown.

She seemed politically ideally suited to the MP, having already formed strong ideas on the role of women and in particular how their numbers could be boosted in the House of Commons.

Ms Macaulay was one of the first 75 women invited to sign a banner to mark the launch of Emily's List, the campaign to raise money to boost female representation at Westminster.

'I don't try to be secretive'

Soon after the romance began, one of Mr Brown's unnamed friends commented: "She is intelligent, fun and quite political. On top of that she is attractive and successful. They are quite an item. They are simply made for one another."

Also, Mr Brown told an interviewer at the time: "I do have a relationship at the moment, but I don't think she'd appreciate me talking about it.

"I don't try to be secretive, but I think maybe my personal life's been changing quite a bit. I don't think talking about it in interviews particularly helps."

Ms Macaulay was brought up in London. Her Scottish father worked in publishing and her mother was a teacher.

She attended Acland Burghley comprehensive school in Tufnell Park and later went to Camden High School for Girls.

Photoshoot

There she met Julia Hobsbawm, daughter of Eric Hobsbawm, with whom she was later to set up PR firm called Hobsbawm Macaulay Communications.

She went on to study psychology at Bristol University and moved into design and communications after gaining her degree.

Her company was ranked in the country's top 50 in public relations.

Newspaper diarists were talking of impending marriage between the pair from early 1997, but Mr Brown remained silent on the issue.

When he allowed a newspaper to photograph the couple dining at a quiet and secluded restaurant in London's Soho it seemed like the signal Fleet Street was waiting for.

But nothing happened. Until now.

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See also:

02 Aug 00 | UK
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Tears over Brown?
22 Mar 99 | UK Politics
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Gordon, Prudence and the other woman
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