Speaking to Tory candidates in Cheltenham (right) he made the strongest and most negative attack on Labour of the Cameron era.
He described Labour as the "disgustingly grubbiest" of all administrations of the modern era. He said that Labour had been "narrow partisan and factional" rather than statesmanlike. The Conservatives now have a solemn duty to remove "these people" from office, he continued. We must "spare no effort to get rid of this government."
The Shadow Foreign Secretary said as he sat opposite the Labour benches on Budget day that they looked and sounded as though they were bereft of ideas. Disraeli once compared the government of his day to exhausted volcanoes but, said Hague, Labour ministers looked like a "decomposing political muckheap."
Tory activists have long wanted the leadership to be much more negative about Labour but Tory strategists were anxious not to get ahead of the public mood. William Hague – who will not have acted without the agreement of Andy Coulson and George Osborne – has decided that the public mood is now at that famous contempt phase.