Kinnock's son, gay rumours and a flirty blonde Prime Minister

Kinnock's son, gay rumours and a flirty blonde Prime Minister: Meet the very unusual Danish leader who dragged David Cameron and Barack Obama into that embarrassing 'selfie' row

  • Helle Thorning-Schmidt, 46, is an unconventional head of state
  • The Danish PM has been nicknamed 'Gucci Helle' for her wardrobe
  • Husband Stephen, Neil Kinnock's son, had to fight off 'gay' rumours 


Her sexy wardrobe (and racy reputation) have earned her the nickname ‘Gucci Helle’ in her native Denmark.

It’s the kind of profile you would normally associate with, say, a footballer’s wife, or a model, not a prime minister. 

But then Danish leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt, 46, who dragged Barack Obama and David Cameron into that embarrassing ‘selfie’, is not a typical head of state, not by British standards anyway.

How many premiers, for example, when heckled at a public meeting about their wardrobe would have replied bluntly: ‘We can’t all look like s***.’

Or boarded a military plane to wartorn Libya in camouflage jacket and stilettos, with a bright red Gucci handbag (the headline in one Danish newspaper screamed: ‘Helle Took Her Bag To War’).

Not surprisingly, her sex appeal, which Miss Thorning-Schmidt seems to have exploited to the full, almost certainly contributed to her electoral success back in 2011. 

The word most Googled next to her name during the election campaign, it would later emerge, was ‘naked’. It is not clear, however, if voters expected to find naked photographs of her on the internet – or simply hoped to.

Danish magazines, meanwhile, claim  her looks have been enhanced by Botox. (‘Helle Thorning: Obsessed with Botox – see revealing images of the Prime Minister inside’).

Indeed, her career reads like a script from Borgen, the cult Danish political drama screened on BBC Four and featuring fictional prime minister Birgitte Nyborg. 

Miss Thorning-Schmidt has often compared herself to her TV counterpart. Certainly, her time in office has been dogged by scandal and gossip about her personal life.

We have a particular interest in Miss Thorning-Schmidt here in Britain, of course, because she is married to former Labour leader Lord Kinnock’s son, Stephen, 42. Their domestic arrangements are unusual, and the source of some controversy.

Stephen Kinnock is a director of the World Economic Forum and lives in Davos, Switzerland, spending no more than 33 weekends in Denmark, apparently. Under Danish law, his non-resident status allowed his wife to deduct about £40,000 in tax from the mortgage repayments on their £500,000 house in Copenhagen.


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