He has been the Member of Parliament for Richmond, Yorkshire since 1989. He is currently Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State.
Whilst in Government William Hague was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Norman Lamont MP, from 1990-93; Joint Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Social Security from 1993-94; and Minister of State, DSS (with responsibility for Social Security and Disabled People) from 1994-95. He joined the Cabinet in 1995 as Secretary of State for Wales.
He was Leader of the Conservative Party from June 1997 to June 2001. He has also been elected Chairman of the International Democrat Union, the global alliance of Conservative, Christian Democrat and like-minded parties.
Before entering Parliament William worked for Shell UK and McKinsey & Co.
He married Ffion Jenkins in December 1997.
He enjoys reading, walking in the Yorkshire Dales, cross-country ski-ing and judo. He has just started playing the piano.
William has recently been appointed an adviser to the JCB Group, as well as joining AES Engineering as a non-executive Director and joining the Political Council of Terra Firma Capital Partners.
WILLIAM WILBERFORCE: THE LIFE OF THE GREAT ANTI-SLAVE TRADE CAMPAIGNER
A formidable orator, campaigner and tactician, Yorkshire-born William Wilberforce spearheaded in Parliament the 20-year-long campaign to abolish one of the great abominations of the eighteenth century: the Atlantic slave trade. Starting with research which led him famously to decide in 1787 that ‘so enormous, so dreadful and so irremediable did it appear that I resolved I would not rest until I had effected its abolition’, Wilberforce and his small band of allies took on the most powerful vested interests in the land, as well as some formidable political opponents, to secure eventual triumph in the dramatic events of 1807.
This is the extraordinary story of a politician (and good friend of William Pitt the Younger) who shunned all honours, titles and ministerial positions, yet became one of the most influential Britons in history. Born into wealth and idleness, he transformed himself into a man who to a unique degree combined friendship, philanthropy and evangelism with immense social and political achievements.
In this book, published in the bicentenary of the slave trade’s abolition, award-winning author William Hague brilliantly illuminates Wilberforce’s turbulent life and career, offering a politician’s insights into the parliamentary manoeuvres and electoral dramas with which he had to contend. He shows how Wilberforce’s conviction and faith allowed him to hold fast to his independence and (generally conservative) beliefs even at a time of war, revolution and social upheaval. And he demonstrates how the eradication of the slave trade was genuinely the work of a lifetime, paving the way for the abolition of slavery itself throughout the British Empire, enacted while Wilberforce lay dying in 1833.
The result is a compelling account of a man who achieved the rare feat of placing principle above politics, mankind above party and results above ambition. A vital part of human history, this is also a timeless story of determination and inspiration.
PUBLICATION DATE: June 2007
WILLIAM PITT THE YOUNGER: A BIOGRAPHY
William Pitt the Younger was one of the most extraordinary figures in British history, who became Prime Minister in 1783 at the remarkable age of twenty-four. In this lively and authoritative biography, William Hague explains the dramatic events and exceptional abilities which allowed extreme youth to be combined with great power. “A perfect match of author and subject” says HarperCollins.
The brilliant son of a father who was also Prime Minister, Pitt was derided as a ‘schoolboy’ when he took office. Yet within months he had outwitted his opponents, and he went on to dominate the political scene for twenty-two years (nineteen of them as Prime Minister). No British politician since has exercised such supremacy for so long.
Pitt’s personality has always been hard to unravel. Generally thought of as cold and aloof, he was described by friends as the wittiest man they ever knew. By seeing him through the eyes of a politician, William Hague succeeds in explaining Pitt’s actions and motives through a series of great national crises, including the madness of George III, the impact of the French Revolution and the trauma of the Napoleonic Wars. He describes how a man dedicated to peace became Britain’s longest-serving war leader, how Pitt the liberal reformer became Pitt the author of repression, and how – though undisputed master of the nation’s finances – he died with vast personal debts.
With its rich cast of characters, including Charles James Fox, Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Edmund Burke, and set against a backdrop of industrial revolution and global conflict, this is history at its most riveting.
PUBLICATION DATE: September 2004