Pandora: Finally, the talking is over for Hague

William Hague's long and lucrative association with the after-dinner speaking circuit has not ended on a happy note.

The shadow Foreign Secretary was on the books of the London-based agency JLA, where, as an "A-grade" speaker he could officially command one-off fees as high as £25,000. Such profitable pursuits are soon to be a thing of the past, following David Cameron's ruling that all frontbenchers abandon "outside interests" by the end of the year.

Those browsing JLA's website could be forgiven for presuming that Hague, like a typical Yorkshireman, had chosen to cling on to the bitter end. Yesterday, his costly services were still being proudly advertised. An unimpressed spokesman for the politician is anxious to clarify matters when I call. "It is not the first time JLA has done this," he snaps. "William did his last one back in September. They were asked to take him off the but they haven't. I suppose it makes the website look better."

Hague's ability to secure hefty sums predictably left many of his colleagues green with envy. It was mischievously claimed that he could even haggle about his appearance fees while being driven between political engagements.

Despite the obvious tensions, JLA's boss Jeremy Lee is keen to pay tribute to his star client. "It's the end of an era," he tells me. "He is the best speaker on the circuit, and not just out of the politicians. He will be sorely missed. They are very difficult shoes to fill."

Hey, Jude, don't forget number four

*As an eventful year draws to a close for Jude Law, observers uncharitably suggest the dashing thespian could be suffering from an alarming case of memory loss. During his appearance on David Letterman's US show, Law raised eyebrows when he confidently informed his host he had "three" children. You may recall that Law, who does indeed have three kids with ex-wife Sadie Frost, recently became a father for the fourth time, courtesy of a brief but costly liaison with the model Samantha Burke. A mere slip of the tongue, surely?

Prezza finds some wriggle room

While the dust settles after the Copenhagen summit, John Prescott helpfully sheds light on a pivotal moment in backroom negotiations. Prezza assures us he stopped at nothing when it came to getting his message across. "I lobbied John Kerry, Al Gore and the Chinese Environment Minister, Xie Zhenhua, telling them they had to 'wriggle more' to get a deal," he writes on his blog. "The translator fell silent, but when I mimed a wriggle to Mr Xie, he smiled and understood what I meant."

No facelift for Hugh

*Hugh Grant's female fans would be quick to point out that the old boy is weathering rather well. Grant, however, insists there are worrying signs. "In the hotel where I'm staying there is a mirror to the side of the basin," explains the actor, 49. "I was shaving and looked up at it – but my face stayed pointing down. That's a new one."

Mount Paris

*Heartening to learn that the Californian climate doesn't stop Paris Hilton from fully embracing the festive spirit. Speaking to Hello!, the celebrated actress – no, stop it – recalls having shiploads of "real snow" delivered and a "mini-mountain" being built in her garden. Personally, I never settle for anything less.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Management Trainer

£30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Exciting career opportunity to join East...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Scientist / Research Assistant

£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious start-up company b...

Reach Volunteering: Chair of Trustees

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Do you love the Engl...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?