William Hague 'didn't need' to talk about wife's miscarriage according to PR guru

William Hague 'didn't need' to talk about his wife's miscarriages following allegations surrounding his private life, according to one PR guru.

'Didn't need' to talk of wife's miscarriage: William Hague
'Didn't need' to talk of wife's miscarriage: William Hague

On Wednesday, Hague denied any improper relationship with Christopher Myers, 25, but admitted that they had shared hotel rooms during the general election campaign this year.

George Pascoe-Watson, partner at Portland and former political editor of The Sun, said: ‘As with everything in PR, it depends on what William wanted to achieve with his statement. His aim may not have been to protect his political career.

‘It may only have been to lance the boil of rumours about his sexuality, regardless of the consequences.

‘Those who say the public would never have known are missing the point. In politics, it’s what the Westminster rumour mill is saying about you that matters, and that’s what he had to tackle.’

Mr Hague gave the intimate details about his marriage, revealing that his wife, Ffion, had suffered ‘multiple miscarriages’.

It is understood that Mr Hague made his unusual public statement against the advice of government media experts.

Pascoe-Watson added: ‘He didn’t need to talk about his wife’s miscarriages. But it was honest and in dealing with the public, honesty is always good. There’s no magic bullet. But being honest and upfront when you have nothing to hide is a good starting point.'

But Alex Woolfall, head of crisis management for the Bell Pottinger felt Hague’s detailed response could risk igniting the story.

‘Less is more in these cases,’ he said. ‘Sometimes it's better to ignore or dismiss rumours with a simple shrug or a "not true" than giving a story legs by commenting. But to go into such detail about one's private life very rarely achieves the desired outcome of closing a story down. It often ignites it.’

He added: ‘When the Hamiltons were falsely accused of going to swingers' parties, I remember Christine Hamilton saying the allegations were "nonsense on stilts". That was a great put down line and fantastically dismissive.’

Mark Pack, associate director at Mandate said that Hague had 'dealt with his private life very professionally'. But he added: 'People are still wondering why he appointed an adviser with apparently very limited experience in his field – the reasons behind this have not been addressed’

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