Australia's 'First Bloke' wants to marry Gillard

Prime Minister Julia Gillard could soon have a wedding ring on her finger if boyfriend Tim Mathieson gets his way, although Australia's first female leader played down the suggestions Sunday.

Mathieson, a former hairdresser who is known as Australia's 'First Bloke', said he would like to tie the knot one day with the 49-year-old.

"I would like to ask her," the 54-year-old, who has three children from a previous marriage, told the Sydney Sunday Telegraph.

"At the moment I'm really quite happy with our relationship the way it is."Like Julia, I don't think we need to be cemented in any other way.

"We're just happy with the way we are, but I would hope if I did ask her that, of course, she would say yes. Absolutely."

Mathieson and Gillard, who has never married before and has no children, have been an item for nearly five years.

An anonymous source close to Gillard told the newspaper that rumours of an upcoming wedding were "probably right", adding that the pair had planned to marry before she became prime minister last year.

Gillard though played down talk of an imminent wedding.

"There is no rock on the finger, so I think everybody can say we're a happy couple and that's a good thing," she told ABC Television.

If Mathieson does propose, it is unlikely they would marry in a church, given the Welsh-born prime minister is an atheist.

No Australian prime minister has ever married while in office.

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