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Senior Freemason Tory 'Law and Order' MP dumps wife of 30 years for his blonde secretary

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Sunday Mirror


Apr 4 2004

EXCLUSIVE: Same old Tories, always cheating

By Alan Rimmer And Fiona Cassidy

A SENIOR Tory MP has dumped his wife of 30 years to set up home with a blonde company boss.

Former shadow minister John Greenway, 58, split with wife Sylvia after owning up to his affair with mother-of-two Hanneke Dannhorn.

The separation was so bitter that father-of-three Greenway was banned from his grand-daughter's christening by outraged daughter Louise.

Dutch-born Hanneke, 51, has now moved into Greenway's flat in Kennington, South London. The couple were seen leaving the home together last week.

A close family friend said: "His children are furious with him. The whole family is in turmoil."

The first sign of problems emerged in the summer of 2002 when family and friends noticed that Greenway, the MP for Ryedale in Yorkshire, and Sylvia "weren't getting along".

The friend said: "John seemed to be spending all his time in London. He hardly ever went home to Yorkshire. Naturally, Sylvia became suspicious."

The crisis deepened last November when the Greenways' daughter Louise had her daughter Elizabeth christened. More than 100 people attended the service at St Mary The Virgin Church near York - but the MP was missing.

The friend said: "Everyone was asking, 'Where's John?', then it all started coming out. Sylvia retained her dignity but it soon became clear his two sons were livid.

"Word spread that John had upped and left with a mystery blonde and had set up home with her in London."

He added: "People just couldn't believe it. John was always banging on about family values and made a big play about his 'wonderful' family when he was out hunting for votes.

"The general consensus was that John has been a complete prat and treated his family very badly."

It was a far cry from the lavish wedding for Louise and Duncan Littlechild in the Houses of Parliament Crypt in July 1999. Former policeman Greenway extolled the virtues of marriage as he welcomed his new son-in-law into the family.

The friend said: "He was enormously pompous. He was going on about the solemnity of marriage and how fitting the Commons Crypt was for such an occasion.

"In view of what he did a few years later, you can't help but think what a hypocrite he turned out to be."

Greenway is not the only Tory at the centre of a love triangle. Yesterday businessman Andrew Annett claimed former Conservative MP Sebastian Coe broke up his marriage to wife Carole, 38.

Former Olympic champion Lord Coe, 47, is said to have introduced the mother-of-two as his girlfriend while staying at an upmarket resort on a working trip to Athens to view preparations for the Olympics. Mr Annett said: "Sebastian Coe is the reason Carole and I split up."

But Lord Coe claims he did not break up the marriage.

Greenway was elected to Parliament in 1987 and is a former shadow minister for home affairs, culture, media and sport. Hanneke is managing director of Brook Green travel group which organises conferences for executives. She is separated from her husband of 21 years, Peter, 53.

The Greenway family friend said: "Hanneke's obviously a woman of independent means. John's wife Sylvia doesn't have a job but has always supported him in his constituency work.

"She was loyally by his side when he was re-elected in 2001. But now she's been abandoned."

Mrs Greenway last night said she was aware of her husband's affair. She added: "Other than to say that's sex and politics for you, I've got no further comment. I'm not one of these Tory wives who talk about their husbands' affairs."


RIGHT-winger Greenway was nearly shot while serving as a detective constable in London's West End during the late 1960s.

The incident hardened his views on tackling crime and he has long supported a return of the death penalty.

Greenway's five years as a Metropolitan police officer helped him become a Tory frontbench spokesman on law and order in 1997. He later became a shadow culture, media and sport minister before returning to the back benches.

Outside Parliament, he is President of York City Football Club and a keen horse racing fan who likes betting "purely and simply for the excitement." The former insurance broker and self-confessed Freemason was seventh highest-earning MP in 1997 when he declared outside earnings of up to ?0,000.

He makes money as a financial journalist and adviser to marketing companies. He is also a director of two insurance firms.

Greenway is vice-chairman of the All Party Football Committee and the Opera Group.

Further Reading:

Pillars of the Community

UK Freemasonry in the News, have the 'Brethren' finally met their Waterloo?