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Image: Hague Quits as Foreign Secretary as Cameron Overhauls Cabinet
Foreign Secretary William Hague leaves No. 10 Downing Street, the prime minister's office in London, after a meeting in June. (Getty Images)

Hague Quits as Foreign Secretary as Cameron Overhauls Cabinet

Monday, 14 Jul 2014 05:38 PM

William Hague and Ken Clarke, two men who have spent a quarter century at the top of British politics, announced their departures from public life Monday, as Prime Minister David Cameron sought to give his Conservative party a younger, more female image before the 2015 election.

The prime minister embarked late on the biggest restructuring of his government since he took office in 2010, with Foreign Secretary Hague and Clarke, a minister without portfolio, only the top two names in a series of firings and resignations. Also leaving office are Attorney General Dominic Grieve, Science Minister David Willetts, Leader of the House of Commons Andrew Lansley and Welsh Secretary David Jones.

The exit from the Cabinet of Clarke, 74, had been signaled in advance, but news that Hague, 53, was leaving the Foreign Office had not been predicted. His career showed that British political lives can have second acts: After leading the Conservative Party to one of its worst ever results in 2001, he became a successful author and then, in 2010, foreign secretary. He will now replace Lansley as leader of the house until he retires from Parliament after the 2015 election.

“William Hague has been one of the leading lights of the Conservative Party for a generation, leading the party and serving in two Cabinets,” Cameron said in an e-mailed statement.

“Not only has he been a first-class foreign secretary, he has also been a close confidant, a wise counselor and a great friend. He will remain as First Secretary of State and my de facto political deputy in the run-up to the election.”

 

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William Hague and Ken Clarke, two men who have spent a quarter century at the top of British politics, announced their departures from public life Monday, as Prime Minister David Cameron sought to give his Conservative party a younger, more female image before the 2015 election.
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Monday, 14 Jul 2014 05:38 PM
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