JLA in the Press

William Hague earned £1.3million as the ‘David Beckham of toasting’ by making 54 speeches last year charging more than £25,000 a time
Posted on January 27, 2017

On the face of things William Hague and David Beckham would appear to have very little in common – but that did not stop Hillary Clinton making a surprising comparison between the two.

The failed Democrat presidential candidate lauded the former Conservative leader as ‘the David Beckham of toasting’ because of his success on the public speaking scene since departing the Commons.

Lord Hague, 55, dashed around the globe for 54 different engagements last year and on three occasions even managed to squeeze two into one day.

His speeches last year accounted for around £1.3million of his £2million total earnings for 2016, with an evening with Lord Hague often costing around £25,000 for a 15-minute talk and subsequent Q&A session, according to The Times.

And he has not been scared to take aim at fellow top politicians, including the current incumbent of his former role as Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, as well as Donald Trump and other senior figures.

At the National Business Awards, he poked fun at Boris for labelling Brexit as a ‘Titanic success’ and said of Trump ‘The problem with political jokes is that they are starting to get elected.’

Lord Hague’s speeches are organised through the JLA agency, which rates him as a ‘AA’ speaker.

That is the highest cost band, with a price per speech of more than £25,000.

The former Foreign Secretary has even racked up enough air miles to take him more than twice around the world.

Speeches have proved an extremely popular way for MPs to cash in when they step away from the limelight, with George Osborne the latest to jump on the bandwagon following his dismissal as Chancellor.

Since his sacking last July, he has already amassed more than £600,000 from public appearances.

But this was met by criticism, given that he is still the serving MP for Tatton. Former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said: ‘The public expect MPs to allocate their time representing their constituents’ interests, not building up a massive income.’

And former Prime Minister David Cameron, who is no longer in the Commons at all, was paid an eye-watering £120,000 to speak for just one hour talk to Blackstone Properties in New York.

Meanwhile, Tony Blair has gone on to make an estimated fortune of £27 million since leaving frontline politics.

A spokesman for Lord Hague declined to comment on the figures yesterday.

Original article appears here 

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