Hague and his fiancee step out

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William Hague, the Secretary of State for Wales, and his fiancee, Ffion Jenkins, made their first public appearance yesterday following the announcement of their engagement.

Mr Hague, who occupies the safe seat of Richmond, Yorkshire, with a majority of 23,504, marked his political card as a 16-year-old with a speech at the 1977 party conference. Since taking over the Welsh Office in July 1995 his fortunes have prospered to the point where some regard him as a future Conservative Party leader. Leading article, page17