When William Hague re-joined the Tory front bench, he promised to give up the outside interests that had (briefly) made him Britain’s best-paid MP.
Claiming this would cost him roughly £500,000 a year in lost earnings, the new shadow Foreign Secretary declared: “I am obviously quite barmy.”
Maybe this proud Yorkshireman isn’t quite as barmy as he’s led us to believe, though. Just two months later, Hague has resumed his after-dinner speaking career.
The agency JLA includes the former Tory leader in its latest “corridors of power” stable, alongside such political luminaries as David Blunkett and Andrew Marr.
Hague’s presence on the list – his going rate, by the way, is between £10,000 and £25,000 – appears to contradict the impression given when he rejoined the shadow cabinet.
Back then, he was allowed to keep a few directorships, in return for dropping his News of the World column, and scaling back speaking appearances.
However, a spokesman last night insisted that Hague had never actually pledged to give up after-dinner speaking. Instead he had promised to cut down “drastically”.
“William Hague is still on the list and available, but it’s now very much a secondary thing,” he said.
Meanwhile, JLA’s director, Jeremy Lee, added: “He’s still going to do occasional speaking for us, but it will be far less frequent than before.”