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Hague to end his outside interests

HAGUE WILLIAM NW Paul Waugh has the exclusive.

The Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague has apparently decided to wind down all his interests by the autumn.  It will put pressure on other frontbenchers to do the same.

There was controversy last December when William Hague apparently threatened to quit if outside inerests were banned.  Now that we are closer to the election (when, if the Conservatives are victorious outside interests will have to end for all frontbenchers) Mr Hague has decided to wind down his lucrative line in directorships and speechmaking.

The Tories fear that a new wave of anti-politician publicity will greet forthcoming disclosures on outside interests.  This seems like a pre-emptive and welcome defence.

Tim Montgomerie

5.15pm: PoliticsHome has a quote from Mr Hague (made during a yet to be broadcast interview with Straight Talk's Andrew Neil): ""Over the next few months I will be ending all my outside interests, because I think - although I haven't spent much time on things like that in recent times - I think in the run-up to the general election there must be no distractions of any kind, and nobody even thinking that somebody like me has got a distraction of any kind."


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