The surprising reason why Jacinda Ardern would not ask Clarke Gayford to marry her

And it has nothing to do with feminism!
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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern may be feminist but she “absolutely” draws the line at the suggestion of proposing to her partner Clarke Gayford.

In a televised BBC interview, the PM was asked by interviewer Victoria Derbyshire, “Can you imagine asking your partner Clarke Gayford to marry you, or will you wait for him to ask you?”

As one of the world’s few female leaders and only the second woman ever to have a baby while in office as Prime Minister, you might expect Ardern to think nothing of the idea.

But that is not the case.

“No, I would not ask, no,” she replied emphatically, and her answer was preceded by a laugh that indicated she thought the idea preposterous.

“But you’re a feminist,” Derbyshire pressed.

“Oh, absolutely. Absolutely I’m a feminist,” Ardern responded. “But no, I want to put him through the pain and torture of having to agonise about that question himself.

“No, that’s letting him off the hook, absolutely not.”

Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford with baby Neve at the UN General Assembly in 2018.

Well there you go, Clarke Gayford. It’s about not letting you off the hook.

Whether that pun was intentional or not, we’ve noted that hooks have featured heavily in the couple’s love story and journey to parenthood.

Gayford, a keen fisherman, famously took Ardern fishing for their first date and told the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly that he knew she was ‘the one’ by the end of that first date, after she pulled in a 5.4kg snapper on her first cast then a John Dory “and then a whale showed up”.

Last year the PM introduced Gayford to pupils at Paihia School in February by saying, “I’m the best catch he ever got… and he didn’t even have to weigh me to find that out.”

The couple, who became proud parents to baby Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford in June last year, used an images of two fishing hooks in their announcement on social media that they were expecting their first baby.

Who can guess what the theme to Gayford’s proposal might be, once he’s gone through the pain and torture of agonising over how to net his catch of the day!

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