Foreign Secretary’s statement…Wil i am not Hague 2010
“Earlier this year a Sunday newspaper began questioning whether my marriage to Ffion was in trouble, and last week another media outlet asked whether there was a statement about our supposed separation. This seemed to be linked to equally untrue speculation surrounding the appointment of Christopher Myers as a special adviser.
“Christopher Myers has demonstrated commitment and talent over the last 18 months. Any suggestion that his appointment was due to an improper relationship between us is utterly false, as is any suggestion that I have ever been involved in a relationship with any man.
“This speculation seems to stem from the fact that while campaigning before the election we occasionally shared twin hotel rooms. Neither of us would have done so if we had thought that it in any way meant or implied something else.
“In hindsight I should have given greater consideration to [that possibility], but this is in itself no justification for allegations of this kind, which are untrue and deeply distressing to me, to Ffion and to Christopher.
“As a result of the pressure on his family from the malicious allegations made about him, he does not wish to continue in his position. It is a pity that a talented individual should feel that he needs to leave his job in this way.
“Ffion and I believe that everyone has a right to a private life. However, we now feel it necessary to give some background to our marriage because we have had enough of this continued and hurtful speculation about us. I have made no secret of the fact that Ffion and I would love to start a family… We have suffered multiple miscarriages, and are still grieving for the loss of a pregnancy this summer. We are aware that the stress of infertility can often strain a marriage, but in our case, thankfully, it has only brought us closer together.
“It has been an immensely traumatic and painful experience but our marriage is strong and we will face whatever the future brings together.
William Hague: the rumours of a ‘gay past’ that just would not go away
For any politician to share a bedroom with a member of the same sex might invite childish gossip.
Sources close to Mr Hague have told The Daily Telegraph that he was advised by Tory public relations specialists not to respond to the rumours circulating on the internet for precisely that reason, but Mr Hague had become so exasperated that he decided “enough is enough”.
One friend of Mr Hague said: “He has had years of people talking about his sexuality behind their hands and sniggering and he decided to confront it head on. It was a highly personal decision but something he felt passionately he wanted and needed to do.
“Of course, his political career will depend on the statement being entirely honest and factual. He would have been mad, insane, to have lied in any way. But he did not, it is the truth.” All of which, his friends admit, puts an even bigger question mark over Mr Hague’s judgment in deciding to share a room with Mr Myers at the Hotel du Vin in Birmingham during the televised leaders’ debate in April, and on other occasions during the general election campaign.
Mr Hague now accepts that “in hindsight I should have given greater consideration to what might have been made of that”.
Despite being the nation’s most precocious political talent, having memorably addressed the Tory conference as a 16 year-old in 1977, Mr Hague has always displayed a certain naivety about how others see him, typified by his boasts about 14-pint drinking sessions and his insistence on wearing baseball caps. One of his oldest friends, the financier Guy Hands, believes the rumours about Mr Hague’s sexuality grew out of nothing more than the fact that he had close friends at Oxford who were homosexual, and championed their rights while at university.
Mr Hands told Mr Hague’s biographer: “Certainly in the 15 months that William lived in my house in Nelson Street [Oxford] I didn’t see that William’s sexuality was anything but heterosexual, and indeed never have since.
“Although there were pockets of gay activity that coalesced around the Oxford Union (of which Mr Hague was president) and the Oxford University Conservative Association, William was not associated with them.”
Mr Hague did have girlfriends at university, but friends said he “wasn’t particularly sexually driven” and was subjected to innuendo because of the fact that he shared a house for a time with the openly homosexual Alan Duncan, who later became a parliamentary colleague.
When Mr Hague became an MP at the age of 27 and a minister in 1995, aged 33, the rumours persisted, largely because of his bachelor status.
Shaun Woodward, who quit the Tory party in a row over gay rights and joined Labour, was reported to have told colleagues Mr Hague could never be Conservative leader because he had a “gay past”.
During Mr Hague’s successful leadership campaign in 1997 he decided to confront the issue, telling MPs he would not have run for leader if he had been homosexual (thus offending homosexuals who inferred that he was saying a gay man could not be a party leader).
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph at the time, he described the rumours as “water off a duck’s back” and said his friends knew the claims were ridiculous. Even so, he had to endure suggestions that his engagement to Ffion in 1997 was somehow a contrivance, and even after the wedding he was repeatedly asked about his sexuality.
On ITV’s This Morning in 1998, he was asked by Richard Madeley: “What about this rumour that you were gay that went around for two or three years? It seems to have gone on until you actually got married. Does that disturb you?”
Mr Hague replied: “That one’s been blown away now. In politics you get things said about you in every kind of way … you get used to that and as long as you know who you are yourself you don’t have to worry about it.”
The former MP Gyles Brandreth put the question to him again in an interview the following year, when he again insisted the rumours were “absolutely untrue”.
Still the gossip persisted, but instead of repeating the familiar suggestions of a “gay past”, Mr Hague recently became aware of claims that his marriage was in trouble and that his childless status was in some way evidence of homosexuality.
Rather than being “water off a duck’s back” as it had been in the past, Mr Hague and his wife, who, as we now know, had suffered several miscarriages, most recently this summer, found the rumours deeply hurtful, and it was this which prompted his statement.
The commentary on Guido Fawkes´Order-Order.com website sets it out:
“Guido has ascertained confirmation that for at least one night during the general election campaign the Foreign Secretary shared a hotel room with his then driver Christopher Myers, whom he has now appointed as his Special Adviser on the Civil Service payroll. Other campaign staffers stayed in separate more modest hotels and sources suggest that this was not a one off instance.
Guido believes it to be the case that it would be usual for the bill for the room – which was settled by Hague personally – to be reimbursed via the Conservative Party’s election campaign expenses.
One witness told Guido that the room sharing couple’s body language at breakfast was eye opening.
“It is surely inappropriate for someone of William Hague’s status to be sharing a night in a hotel room with his driver – you only have to consider how absurd it would be if his driver were female to see it is completely bizarre even if there were two beds.
The appointment of Hague’s former driver to his private office is controversial because 25-year old Myers has no expertise for the job, no relevant experience and his only qualification for the position is his closeness to the Foreign Secretary.
“Eyebrows were raised at CCHQ when William Littlejohn, Hague’s well connected and respected press officer for the last two years, was passed over in favour of Myers – who is currently in hiding from the press.
Littlejohn was left effectively jobless after the election until Andy Coulson found him a job with Caroline Spelman.
You couldn’t make it up…”