Foreign Secretary William Hague's special adviser has resigned as a result of pressures placed on his family by "untrue and malicious allegations".
In a personal statement released to the Press Association, Mr Hague said suggestions that Christopher Myers' appointment was due to an improper relationship between them were "utterly false" and he denied his marriage to wife Ffion was in trouble.
He also revealed that he and Ffion have suffered the trauma of multiple miscarriages as they have tried to start a family, and are grieving over the loss of a pregnancy this summer.
Mr Myers, 25, was employed by Mr Hague during the 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 went on: "He has now told me that, as a result of the pressure on his family from the untrue and malicious allegations made about him, he does not wish to continue in his position.
"It is a pity that a talented individual should feel that he needs to leave his job in this way."
The Foreign Secretary then said he felt it was important to provide background information to his marriage to Ffion.
He said: "I have made no secret of the fact that Ffion and I would love to start a family.
"For many years this has been our goal. Sadly this has proved more difficult for us than for most couples.
"We have encountered many difficulties and suffered multiple miscarriages, and indeed are still grieving for the loss of a pregnancy this summer.
"We are aware that the stress of infertility can often strain a marriage, but in our case, thankfully, it has only brought us closer together.
"It has been an immensely traumatic and painful experience but our marriage is strong and we will face whatever the future brings together."
Mr Hague's highly detailed statement will be seen as an attempt to draw a line under rumours that had been circulating over the internet about the nature of his relationship with Mr Myers.
The adviser's qualifications had been questioned by some commentators, who believed he lacked experience for his job in the Foreign Office.
But Mr Hague praised Mr Myers, adding he had "demonstrated commitment and political talent over the last 18 months".
He added: "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."
The Foreign Secretary also said that that several years ago a Sunday newspaper reported that Ffion was three months pregnant without checking the story with the couple.
The revelation was made "even more difficult" as the couple "had only just experienced another disappointment", Mr Hague said.
He added: "We have never made this information public because of the distress it would cause to our families and would not do so now were it not for the untrue rumours circulating which repeatedly call our marriage into question. We wish everyone to know that we are very happily married.
"It is very regrettable to have to make this personal statement, but we have often said to each other 'if only they knew the truth'.
"Well, this is the straightforward truth."
Mr Hague said he would not be commenting further.Reuse content