World News‎ > ‎

Britain's foreign secretary denies gay rumours

posted 2 Sept 2010, 07:07 by Sam Mbale

British Foreign Secretary William Hague denies any 'improper relationship' with a male aide who has resigned following reports that the two men shared a hotel room during the election campaign.

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague has denied rumours he was gay and said one of his male aides had quit over untrue speculation they had been involved in a relationship.

Suggestions about Hague's sexuality surfaced in recent days after newspapers published pictures of the foreign secretary with his aide Christopher Myers and reported the men had shared a hotel room during campaigning for May's election.

In a statement issued on Wednesday (September 1) night, Hague rejected accusations that Myers, 25, had not been qualified to hold the post of special adviser and that there had been other illicit reasons for his appointment.

"He is easily qualified for the job he holds. 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," said Hague, 49.

"This speculation seems to stem from the fact that whilst 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."

On Thursday (September 2), Hague was questioned by journalists at a joint news conference with his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle but refused to add to his statement.

"I'm not going to expand on that today. My wife and I really felt we'd had enough of untrue allegations, particularly on the internet, and that at some point you have to speak out about that and put the record straight," Hague said.

As foreign secretary, he is one of the most senior figures in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government, the first since World War Two, which was formed after the election.

Being gay would not in itself be a major political issue but any suggestion of impropriety such as securing an appointment for a lover or friend would be.

Hague, a former Conservative Party leader who married in 1997, revealed his wife Ffion had suffered a number of miscarriages as he sought to quash the rumours that his marriage was in difficulty.