The wife of Birmingham Yardley MP John Hemming claims her husband ‘‘sees himself more as an Arabian sheik than an English family man.’’

Christine Hemming, 54, is still married to the colourful politician, 51, despite him fathering a child with mistress Emily Cox – who is now expecting their second baby.

His estranged wife has now spoken of her regret at her complicated personal life.

“I think marriage is very important,” she said. “We’ve become the EastEnders of Moseley.

“John’s a really nice guy sometimes. He works so hard, he is intelligent, and a good father.

“He cares about society and people.

‘‘If it wasn’t for his selfishness, seeing himself more of an Arabian sheik than an English family man, then everything would be fine.”

The pair met when Christine, originally from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, was in her teens. They later married and had three children together – but by the late 1990s the relationship had hit the rocks.

The couple are still in constant contact as they continue to look after their children together.

But Christine fears the attention on their family life could have a lasting effect on her children’s adult relationships.

“When they’re 18 or 19 years old will they worry that a prospective partner is going to lead them up the same garden path?’’ she said.

“It will create trust issues. Marriage and family relationships should be about support, trust and reliability.”

When contacted for comment Mr Hemming, 51, said: “I don’t think it does anyone any good for me and my wife to have a public argument about our 30-year marriage.