Europe

Thatcher quashed Hague's early ambitions: archives

Foreign Secretary William Hague talks to the media on July 22, 2013 in Brussels. An attempt to parachute Hague into an early political career was rejected as a "gimmick" by former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, archives released on Thursday revealed.

Foreign Secretary William Hague talks to the media on July 22, 2013 in Brussels. An attempt to parachute Hague into an early political career was rejected as a "gimmick" by former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, archives released on Thursday revealed.  (AFP/File)

An attempt to parachute Foreign Secretary William Hague into an early political career was rejected as a "gimmick" by former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, archives released on Thursday revealed.

Thatcher, who died in April aged 87, first came across Hague when he addressed the Conservative Party conference as a schoolboy.

But the "Iron Lady" rejected a request from John Kerr, a senior finance minister official, for him to become a special adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer five years later, the documents released by the National Archives in west London showed.

"The Prime Minister will, I am sure, remember his 1977 Party Conference speech as a 16-year-old schoolboy!" said Kerr in his request, only to receive an emphatic rejection.

"No (triple underlined) -- this is a gimmick and would be deeply resented by many who have financial-economic experience," she wrote on the letter.

Instead, she echoed the conclusion of her private secretary Robin Butler.

Butler had said: "Promising though William Hague is, it is a bit difficult to see what a 21-year-old will contribute as a special adviser in the Treasury."

Hague went on to lead the Tory party before becoming Foreign Secretary following the 2010 general election.

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