David Cameron says his wife will get involved in the election campaign
Conservative leader David Cameron has admitted he had hoped photographs of his wife Samantha posing for a fashion shoot would never surface.
Mr Cameron said he and Samantha were both "very surprised" to see the pictures, taken more than a decade ago, printed in the Mail on Sunday.
"We were hoping they'd never appear, but they have," he said. "But these things happen."
Mrs Cameron recently gave her first TV interview about their life together.
In it, she told ITV1 her husband was "very strong" and a "fantastic dad", but also a "terrible mess" in the kitchen.
She said she found the prospect of him becoming PM "daunting", but would be "very proud" if he won the election.
The photographs show Mrs Cameron modelling a series of dresses, and in one she is lying on a wooden floor holding a kitten.
Stylist and fashion writer Alison Jane Reid told the Mail on Sunday they were taken as "a favour for a friend of a friend" who was a designer.
Asked how he felt about seeing them published, Mr Cameron laughed as he told the BBC: "We were both very surprised.
"She did these pictures a long time ago in connection with her business, I think back in '96 or '97.
"But we knew one day someone might remember them and we were hoping they'd never appear, but they have. But these things happen."
Mrs Cameron is creative director of stationers Smythson and had until recently kept a fairly low public profile.
But Mr Cameron said earlier this month she had told him she was ready to help him on the general election campaign trail.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown's wife Sarah has adopted an increasingly high profile since he became PM, appearing on stage at the Labour Party conference two years running and attracting thousands of followers on social networking site Twitter.
Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, wife of Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, also gave an interview to ITV1 at the weekend, in which she said she was "willing to help" with the party's election bid, but being an international lawyer and mother-of-three took up most of her time.
Objecting to the description of her as a "political wife", she insisted: "I'm the wife of a politician. I don't have a role, I'm just married to him."