I'm a boozer not a loser: Hague plays the Lad card

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He's tough, he's "streetwise", he drinks more beer than a rugby club in a curry house. Oh and he once had a girlfriend when he was at school.

He's tough, he's "streetwise", he drinks more beer than a rugby club in a curry house. Oh and he once had a girlfriend when he was at school.

William Hague tried to drop his Tory Boy image for good yesterday when he claimed he used to down 14 pints of bitter a day in his teens. Like Clark Kent leaping into a phone booth - "Is it a nerd? Is it a plane? No it's Superlout" - the Tory leader told a men's magazine he could take his ale in his youth.

According to this version of his life, his alcohol tolerance soared when he took a holiday job delivering soft drinks and beer to the Working Men's Clubs of South Yorkshire for his father's business. Mr Hague also told GQ magazine he sports a "washboard stomach" and "high-definition pecs" after his ass-kicking judo sessions with Sebastian Coe.

Mr Hague told GQ that because he went to a comprehensive he was "streetwise". He even confessed for the first time to having a girlfriend at school, without naming her.

The real shocker, however, came when he related the epic binges of his summer job between the ages of 15 and 21.

"We used to have a pint at every stop - well the driver's mate did, not the driver, thankfully - and we used to have about 10 stops in a day. You worked so hard you didn't feel you'd drunk 10 pints by four o'clock, you used to sweat so much," he said.

"It's probably horrifying but we used to do that then go home for tea and then go out in the evening to the pub," taking the daily total up to 14 pints.

But it was his claims to bitter six-packs that raised most eyebrows last night, with locals cruelly countering that his benders were more fiction than fact. Terry Glossop, 47, assistant manager of the Angel, one of Rotherham's oldest pubs, said: "That lying little toad. Some of the old boys have been coming in here for donkey's years and no-one can remember Hague coming in for as much as a half-a-lager. He worked for his father's soft drinks company and was known as Billy Fizz."

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