William Hague: Making private matters public 'not easy'

Foreign Secretary William Hague said today his decision to publicly deny speculation about a gay affair with an aide was "not an easy thing to do".

Revealing the frustration he felt, Mr Hague said he and his wife Ffion had "had enough" and decided to "put the record straight" about the rumours which had been circulating, particularly on internet sites.

Downing Street said that Mr Hague continued to enjoy the "100% support" of Prime Minister David Cameron.

In a frank statement issued yesterday Mr Hague denied having had an "improper" relationship with special adviser Christopher Myers and insisted his marriage was secure.

He also revealed that his wife, Ffion, had suffered a number of miscarriages as they tried to start a family.

Mr Myers quit his post as special adviser, citing the pressure put on his family by media inquiries into the allegations.

In a press conference at the Foreign Office, Mr Hague said his former aide was "someone who is rather fed up of the political world, and who can blame him?".

Mr Myers told Sky News he "categorically denied" the allegations about an improper relationship with Mr Hague.

The Foreign Secretary insisted he had no more to add to his statement yesterday, but gave an insight into why he and Ffion had decided to go public.

"Yesterday, I made a very personal statement, which was not an easy thing to do. I am not going to expand on that today.

"My wife and I really felt we had had enough of the circulation of untrue allegations, particularly on the internet, and at some point you have to speak out about that and put the record straight."

Questions about his private life dominated the joint press conference held with Mr Hague's German counterpart Guido Westerwelle.

Mr Hague insisted that the work of the Foreign Office "had not missed a beat at any stage" despite the rumours circulating about him.

A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said that Mr Cameron was not making any new statement on the issue but had given the Foreign Secretary his full backing throughout.

The spokeswoman said: "We have always given William our 100% 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%."

There was also support from the chairman of the Conservative Association in Mr Hague's North Yorkshire constituency of Richmond.

Christopher Bourne-Arton told BBC Radio 4's The World At One: "It was a very brave statement. I am only sorry it was necessary."

Mr Myers, 25, was employed by Mr Hague during the general election campaign as a constituency aide and had worked for the Foreign Secretary as a policy adviser on a salary reported to be £30,000.

Mr Hague admitted to "occasionally" sharing hotel rooms with Mr Myers during the election.

But he added: "Neither of us would have done so if we had thought that it in any way meant or implied something else.

"In hindsight, I should have given greater consideration to what might have been made of that, but this is in itself no justification for allegations of this kind, which are untrue and deeply distressing to me, to Ffion and to Christopher."

Mr Hague's decision to share a room with Mr Myers led some senior Westminster figures to question his judgment.

Former Tory cabinet minister John Redwood wrote on his blog that the Foreign Secretary "now seems to understand it was poor judgment to share a room with an assistant".

Labour leadership contender Ed Balls said: "I've never shared a room with an assistant of mine, male or female, and I think probably when you are in a senior position you have got to be careful with these things."

During an interview with BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine, Mr Balls also doubted the wisdom of Mr Hague's statement: "I'm not sure whether going out and making a public statement in that detail is the wisest thing to do.

"I think it probably gives more credibility to some of these websites and to allegations which aren't true."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football'Mr Marmite' faced the possibility of a 28-day ban
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
2015 General Election

Poll of Polls

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

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower