William Hague was the Member of Parliament for Richmond in North Yorkshire from 1989 to 2015.
83 Facts About William Hague
William Hague served in the Cameron government as First Secretary of State from 2010 to 2015, Foreign Secretary from 2010 to 2014, and Leader of the House of Commons from 2014 to 2015.
William Hague quickly rose through the ranks of the government of John Major and was appointed to Cabinet in 1995 as Secretary of State for Wales.
William Hague resigned as Conservative leader after the 2001 general election following his party's second defeat, at which the Conservatives made a net gain of just one seat.
William Hague returned to the backbenches, pursuing a career as an author, writing biographies of William Pitt the Younger and William Wilberforce.
William Hague held several directorships, and worked as a consultant and public speaker.
William Hague assumed the role of Senior Member of the Shadow Cabinet, serving as Cameron's deputy.
On 14 July 2014, William Hague stood down as Foreign Secretary and became Leader of the House of Commons.
William Hague did not stand for re-election at the 2015 general election and was succeeded by Rishi Sunak.
William Hague was awarded a life peerage in the 2015 Dissolution Honours List on 9 October 2015.
William Hague was born on 26 March 1961 in Rotherham, Yorkshire, England.
William Hague first made the national news at the age of 16 by addressing the Conservatives at their 1977 Annual National Conference.
William Hague read Philosophy, politics and economics at Magdalen College, Oxford, graduating with first-class honours.
William Hague was President of the Oxford University Conservative Association, but was "convicted of electoral malpractice" in the election process of his successor.
William Hague was playing the classic game of using his powers as President to keep his faction in power, and Havey was duly elected.
William Hague served as President of the Oxford Union, an established route into politics.
William Hague contested Wentworth unsuccessfully in 1987, before being elected to Parliament at a by-election in 1989 as Member for the safe Conservative seat of Richmond, North Yorkshire, where he succeeded former Home Secretary Leon Brittan.
William Hague's fast rise up through Government ranks was attributed to his intelligence and debating skills.
William Hague was appointed a Cabinet Minister in 1995 as Secretary of State for Wales; succeeding John Redwood, who had been castigated for being seen on TV apparently miming the Welsh national anthem at a conference; thus, William Hague sought a Welsh Office civil servant, Ffion Jenkins, to teach him the words; they later married.
William Hague continued serving in Cabinet until the Conservatives were defeated after 18 years in government, by Labour at the 1997 general election.
At the age of 36, William Hague was tasked with rebuilding the Conservative Party by attempting to build a more modern image.
When he visited a theme park with his Chief of Staff and former local MP, Sebastian Coe, William Hague took a ride on a log flume wearing a baseball cap emblazoned 'HAGUE'; Cecil Parkinson described the exercise as "juvenile".
William Hague steered the Conservatives to a successful result at the European parliamentary elections in June 1999, where the Conservatives gained 36 MEPs ahead of Labour's 29.
William Hague considered his opposition to the single European currency to be later vindicated by Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown's adoption and subsequent approval of the policy.
William Hague's authority was challenged by the appointment of Michael Portillo as Shadow Chancellor in 2000.
William Hague thus became the second twentieth century Conservative party leader not to become Prime Minister and the first ever to spend his entire tenure in Opposition.
In June 2007 he published his second book, a biography of the anti-slave trade campaigner William Hague Wilberforce, shortlisted for the 2008 Orwell Prize for political writing.
William Hague is a member of Conservative Friends of Israel, a group which he joined when he was 15.
William Hague was offered and accepted the role of Shadow Foreign Secretary and Senior Member of the Shadow cabinet, effectively serving as Cameron's deputy.
William Hague had been widely tipped to return to the frontbench under either Cameron or leadership contest runner-up David Davis.
Further, on 15 February 2006, William Hague deputed, during David Cameron's paternity leave, at Prime Minister's Questions.
William Hague again deputised for Cameron for several sessions in 2006.
William Hague was accorded the honorary title of First Secretary of State.
William Hague further said that: "There will be no downgrading of human rights under this Government and no resiling from our commitments to aid and development".
However, in March 2011, William Hague was criticised by Cardinal Keith O'Brien for increasing financial aid to Pakistan despite persecution of its Christian minority: "To increase aid to the Pakistan Government when religious freedom is not upheld and those who speak up for religious freedom are gunned down is tantamount to an anti-Christian foreign policy".
In January 2013, William Hague visited New Zealand in his capacity as Foreign Secretary, holding talks with New Zealand government ministers, Murray McCully and David Shearer.
In March 2013, William Hague established the International Leaders Programme, designed to identify and develop partnerships among future global leaders.
William Hague was criticised by Israeli leaders after meeting with Palestinians who demonstrated against Israel's barrier in the West Bank.
William Hague expressed solidarity with the idea of non-violence and listened to the accounts of left-wing and Palestinian activists.
William Hague told Sky News that the use of force by the Libyan authorities during the 2011 Libyan Civil War was "dreadful and horrifying" and called on the leader to respect people's human rights.
In March 2011, William Hague said in a speech to business leaders that the examples being set in north Africa and the Middle East will ultimately transform the relationship between governments and their populations in the region.
William Hague has warned that autocratic leaders including Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, could be shaken and even toppled by a wave of popular uprisings rippling out from north Africa.
William Hague stopped short of threatening military intervention against other dictators, but warned that they will inevitably face "judgement" for oppressing their people and suppressing democracy.
William Hague, speaking on the protests in Syria said "Political reforms should be brought forward and implemented without delay".
William Hague added that it was a "frustrating situation" and that the "levers" at the international community's disposal were severely limited but said countries had to concentrate on other ways of influencing the Assad government.
On 24 February 2012, William Hague recognised the Syrian National Council as a "legitimate representative" of the country.
William Hague said Bashar al-Assad's government had "forfeited the right to lead" by "miring itself in the blood of innocent people".
William Hague said: "Today we must show that we will not abandon the Syrian people in their darkest hour".
In March 2012, William Hague ordered the evacuation of all British diplomats from Syria and closed the UK embassy in Damascus because of mounting security threats.
William Hague told Parliament: "We have maintained an embassy in Damascus despite the violence to help us communicate with all parties in Syria and to provide insight into the situation on the ground".
On 1 April 2012, William Hague met 74 other nations at a Friends of Syria Group conference in Istanbul, Turkey.
William Hague said the issue could return to the United Nations Security Council if current efforts to resolve the crisis fail.
On 20 November 2012, William Hague recognised the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces as the "sole legitimate representative" of the Syrian people, and a credible alternative to the current Syrian Government.
William Hague denied suggestions that he had threatened to resign over Prime Minister David Cameron's decision to go straight to a parliamentary vote.
In June 2011, William Hague dismissed Tony Blair's vision for an elected-head of the European Union by insisting that member states have more pressing priorities than further "constitutional tinkering".
William Hague made clear his view after Blair argued that a directly elected President of Europe, representing almost 400m people from 27 countries, would give the EU clear leadership and enormous authority.
In June 2011, William Hague said that Britain helped initiate "distasteful" peace talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
William Hague made the comments while on a three-day tour of the country to meet President Hamid Karzai and visited British troops.
William Hague told The Sun newspaper that Britain had led the way in persuading US President Barack Obama's administration that negotiation was the best potential solution to the conflict.
William Hague admitted that any deal might mean accepting "distasteful things" and could anger military veterans and relatives of the 374 British troops killed in Afghanistan.
In September 2011, William Hague said that the Euro is "a burning building with no exits" for some of the countries which adopted the currency.
In February 2012, William Hague warned in a BBC interview about Iran's "increasing willingness to contemplate" terrorism around the world.
William Hague cited the 2011 Iran assassination plot, an attempt to assassinate Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, as well as alleged involvement in recent attacks in New Delhi, Georgia, and Bangkok.
William Hague said it showed "the danger Iran is currently presenting to the peace of the world".
William Hague accused Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of pursuing "confrontational policies" and described the country's enrichment of uranium in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions as "a crisis coming steadily down the track".
William Hague said the poll had been held against a backdrop of fear that meant the result would not reflect the will of the people.
William Hague said that Britain affirmed the Falklanders' self-determination and would seek to prevent Argentina from "raising the diplomatic temperature" over the issue.
William Hague set out Her Majesty's Government's plans, on 12 June 2012, for the reintroduction of self-government in the Turks and Caicos Islands, where direct rule of the Governor had been in place since the islands had been subject to corruption and maladministration under the previous autonomous administration.
William Hague declared the UK's willingness to extradite Assange to the Swedish authorities who had requested his extradition; thus Swedish prosecutors, unwilling to break diplomatic protocol, have deferred from interrogating Assange at the Embassy of Ecuador, London.
William Hague is the subject of a portrait in oil commissioned by Parliament.
Once William Hague had formally declared his intention not to seek re-election as MP for Richmond at the forthcoming 2015 general election, he told David Cameron he would be standing down as Foreign Secretary.
Cameron instigated a Cabinet reshuffle whereby William Hague became Leader of the House of Commons.
William Hague remained as Cameron's "de facto political deputy", retained his membership of the National Security Council and played a lead role in reaching out to voters in the North of England in the run up to the general election.
William Hague was succeeded as MP for Richmond by future Chancellor of the Exchequer and future Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
On 9 October 2015, William Hague was created Baron William Hague of Richmond, of Richmond in the County of North Yorkshire.
In September 2020, William Hague was appointed as chairman of the Royal Foundation, a charitable organisation operating under the auspices of the then Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, in succession to Sir Keith Mills who retired.
William Hague is an author of political biographies, and since his retirement from public life he has maintained a weekly column in first the Daily Telegraph and subsequently The Times.
William Hague writes the occasional book review and appears on TV shows and in radio presentations.
William Hague married Ffion Jenkins at the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft on 19 December 1997.
Ffion William Hague is styled The Lady William Hague of Richmond.
William Hague serves as a Vice-President of the Friends of the British Library, which provides funding support for the British Library to make new acquisitions.
William Hague is an enthusiast for the natural history and countryside of his native Yorkshire.
William Hague was portrayed by Alex Avery in the 2015 Channel 4 television film Coalition.