London (dpa) – Britain’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, was forced to deny months of newspaper and internet speculation that he is homosexual on Wednesday.
The trigger for a statement from Hague was the sudden resignation of a young male aide, with whom several newspapers had been hinting he had a same-sex relationship.
Instead, the minister released a statement revealing he and his wife, Ffion, had suffered several miscarriages during their marriage, but were happily married.
“We are aware that the stress of infertility can often strain a marriage, but in our case, thankfully, it has only brought us closer together,” Hague said.
“Ffion and I believe that everyone has a right to a private life,” he added. “It is very regrettable to have to make this personal statement, but we have often said to each other ‘if only they knew the truth…’ Well, this is the straightforward truth.”
Earlier, special advisor Chris Myers, 25, had resigned his post, after revelations that he and Hague had shared twin hotel rooms during the May general election campaign.
“Neither of us would have done so if we had thought that it in any way meant or implied something else,” Hague said.
While Britain decriminalised male sexual relations in the 1960s, has many openly gay politicians, and considers civil partnerships a legal form of gay marriage, some politicians still struggle with – or prefer not to be open about – their sexual orientation.
Last week, a colleague of Hague’s, Prisons Minister Crispin Blunt, revealed he was separating from his wife, with whom he has two grown children, and coming out as gay.