William Hague

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William Hague
Revolving Door.jpg This article is part of the Revolving Door project of Spinwatch.

William Hague (Lord Hague of Richmond) is a British Conservative politician who served as foreign secretary from 2010 until 2014 and then as first secretary of state and leader of the House of Commons until May 2015.

Hague was the Conservative Party MP for Richmond from 1989 until he stepped down at the 2015 general election and was replaced by MP Rishi Sunak.[1]

Three months after leaving parliament in 2015, Hague took up several corporate consultancy roles, including as a senior adviser with Teneo, a New-York based lobbying and advisory consultancy.

Although Hague is officially banned under government rules from lobbying on behalf of any organisation until May 2017, it emerged in August 2016 that he would now head Teneo's new Brexit 'client transition unit'. According to The Times, the unit promises to ensure that the concerns of Teneo's blue-chip clients, which include HSBC bank, Coca Cola and Nissan will be heard by government.

Campaigners have accused Teneo of 'lobbying by the back door' and criticised the 'ridiculously loose' rules that allow former ministers and aides to take up highly paid corporate jobs so soon after leaving politics. Hague will also work alongside former trade minister Lord Davies of Abersoch and Sir Michael Rake, the former CBI chairman. A spokesman for Hague claimed, however, he would 'not be undertaking any advocacy for government'.

Industry insiders calculate that the former foreign secretary could be paid at least quarter of a million pounds ( £250,000) for his part-time advice to Teneo. [2]

Life after politics - through the well-paid revolving door

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In July 2015 Hague joined New-York based consultancy Teneo, former employers of ex-prime minister Tony Blair and ex-US president Bill Clinton. He was also appointed chair of the newly-created international advisory group of law firm Linklaters.[3]

In the Daily Mail, Spinwatch's Tamasin Cave said: ‘How is the public interest served by ex-ministers taking the skills and insider knowledge they gained in government and flogging them to private interest?’ ‘There is a reason why companies hire outgoing ministers. It has become another way of buying influence.’[4]

In September 2015, Hague took up another role as a part time non-executive director at Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE) [5]

In January 2017, Hague was given permission to become a consultant for the finance giant Citigroup, 'providing advice on global, political and economic events' and a 'unique perspective'. [6] He is expected to advise the bank on issues surrounding Brexit.

Unpaid appointments

Hague took up an unpaid role as chairman of the influential Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think tank in July 2015. Given that he had made a speech to RUSI whilst in office, the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments advised he must wait three months after leaving office to join formally.[7]

Parliamentary career


He was appointed secretary of state for foreign and Commonwealth affairs in the incoming Coalition Government in 2010.[8] In July 2014, he left the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to become first secretary of state and leader of the House of Commons. It was simultaneously announced that he would stand down from parliament at the 2015 general election.[9]

FCO responsibilities

At the FCO Hague led on:

  • Overall responsibility for the work of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Strategy and Policy Planning
  • Communications
  • Honours
  • Whitehall Liaison Department
  • FCO Finance
  • FCO Estates and Security
  • FCO Information and Technology
  • Legal Advisers

Special advisers


In November 2009, Hague received a donation of £12,500.00 from property investor Nick Leslau.[10]


External resources


  1. BBC News Richmond, accessed 11 May 2015.
  2. Oliver Wright, Hague takes highly paid job with Brexit lobbying specialists, front page of "The Times, 24 August 2016 (paywall), accessed same day
  3. Linklaters Linklaters appoints William Hague to chair its newly created International Advisory Group, 10 July 2015, accessed 13 July 2015.
  4. Peter McKay PETER McKAY: Are ex-MPs REALLY just in it for all they can get? Daily Mail, 1 June 2015, accessed 1 June 2015.
  5. Advisory Committee on Business Appointments Gov.co.uk, Accessed 22 September 2015
  6. Rajeev Syal, William Hague gets job advising one of world’s biggest banks, The Guardian, 17 January 2017, accessed 23 January 2017.
  7. Summary of Business Appointments Applications - Rt Hon William Hague Gov.co.uk, 15 September 2015, accessed 22 September 2015
  8. Her Majesty’s Government, Number10.gov.uk, accessed 12 May 2010.
  9. Ministerial reshuffle: Who's out, BBC News, 15 July 2014.
  10. Electoral Commission, Donation Search, accessed 3 April 2015.