‘There is no truth whatsoever in these scurrilous rumours’ he told reporters. ‘I admit that over the last few months I have regularly shared power with a number of openly Lib Dem gentlemen, but it was all perfectly innocent and above board. The allegation that I am a closet Lib Dem is utterly false.’
Rumours had been circulating around Westminster about Mr Hague’s political leanings since the Mail on Sunday published a series of photographs showing the Foreign Secretary in close proximity to known Lib Dems. He is also known to have shared a meeting room with a Lib Dem in the House of Commons, an action that he admitted in hindsight was likely to lead to speculation.
Mr Hague has received the backing and support of friends and colleagues including Prime Minister David Cameron. ‘William’s very happily Conservative’ said Mr Cameron. ‘These lies are being spread with the sole intention of driving a wedge between him and his party. They are untrue and malicious, and those spreading them should be ashamed. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a Lib Dem of course’ he added quickly. ‘Some of my best friends are Lib Dems.’
Not all Tories have been quite so understanding however, with Lord Tebbit describing Mr Hague as ‘naive at best, foolish at worst’.
Mr Hague’s constituency has given him their full backing though, a representative saying ‘we have no doubts at all that William is as Tory as they come. There’s no way he could have hidden it from us if he was really a Lib Dem.’ He added that the rumours hadn’t caused too much concern in the local party. ‘It could have been worse – we could have just found he’s gay’ he joked.