Thatcher quashed Hague's early ambitions: archives

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.