David Cameron backs William Hague over gay rumours
Prime minister David Cameron’s spokeswoman has said he fully supports William Hague after the foreign minister issued a statement denying he was gay.
Mr Hague’s special advisor Chris Myers stepped down yesterday after lurid rumours that he and the foreign secretary were having an affair.
The minister announced Mr Myers’ resignation in a statement which also revealed deeply personal details about his private life.
In the statement, Mr Hague denied ever having a relationship with a man and revealed that he and wife Ffion had suffered a number of miscarriages.
Mr Cameron is currently on paternity leave but his spokeswoman said: “We have always given William our 100 per cent support. That was the case yesterday and it is the case today.
“The prime minister totally understands why William made the statement he did and he backs him 100 per cent.”
After Mr Hague’s unusual statement yesterday, some critics have questioned his judgment.
Speaking on Radio 4’s Today Programme, PR guru Max Clifford said that the foreign minister had been badly advised and should not have shared a room with his advisor.
Mr Clifford said: “Why would a multi-millionaire chose and have and need to share a room with another man? This is damaging and taking a small problem, making it into a huge problem.’
“If you ask anyone out there, ‘did you have doubts about his sexuality?’, up until two days ago certainly anyone I have spoken to said absolutely no way. Now everyone is discussing it.
“Has it solved a problem and sorted it out? No. It’s taken a small problem and turned it into a huge one. That’s not good PR.”
Daily Mirror associate editor Kevin Maguire told Sky News: “It has backfired on him.
“It is on the front of seven national newspapers. It is on TV, radio, in the wider public forum.
“If he had just left it it would have just been on the internet swirling around. He has given this rocket fuel.”
Rumours about Mr Hague and Mr Myers began last month, when critics questioned why he had employed a third advisor who appeared to have little political knowledge.
The political blogger Paul Staines, better known as Guido Fawkes, claimed that the pair had shared a hotel room while on the election campaign.
Mr Hague admitted yesterday that the pair had shared a twin room but said they would not have done so, had they known how it would be construed.
A photograph of the two men taken last year, which showed Mr Hague in an ill-advised baseball cap and sunglasses combo, fuelled the rumours when it was published last month.
Meanwhile, political commentator Iain Dale, who is gay, said that the claims about Mr Hague’s sexuality were damaging to political blogging.
He said: “I am afraid that all of us who blog have been sullied by this experience, even though only one blog was making the insinuations.
“I said on Radio 4’s PM that there was part of me tonight that is ashamed to call myself a political blogger this evening, and I meant it. That may sound a bit holier than thou, but it is how I feel.”
Speaking today at a press conference with his German counterpart, Guido Westerwelle, Mr Hague told reporters that he had had enough of the ”untrue allegations”, and had wanted ”to put the record straight”.