Simon McGee, Political Editor of the Yorkshire Post, effectively accuses William Hague of being a part-time Shadow Foreign Secretary in this morning’s edition of the newspaper:

"William Hague has earned up to £400,000 from after-dinner speeches since returning to the Conservative front bench as David Cameron’s top lieutenant.  Despite assurances that he would slash his personal business commitments, Mr Hague has not only kept all his non-executive directorships and advisory posts, but added another position during the 15 months since Mr Cameron appointed him Shadow Foreign Secretary and de facto deputy party leader.  His portfolio of extra jobs now stands at five.  The Yorkshire Post can also reveal that the Richmond MP took time out from the 2005 General Election campaign to act as a paid speaker at five commercial functions, netting him more than £30,000.  They included two appearances in London with just a week to go to polling day."

Former MP Michael Bates who is Mr Hague’s deputy on the new northern board for the party, rejected the Yorkshire Post’s criticism:

"Anyone that knows his work rate knows that his party and const-ituency come first and these he gives great service to.  He spends 95 per cent of his time working for the party. His income has fallen by two-thirds in terms of speaking engagements since he returned."

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