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Emotional William Hague denies gay rumours as adviser resigns

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has vehemently denied having a gay affair with a young party adviser.

Mr Hague claimed that difficulties conceiving children with his wife Ffion may be behind internet rumours that he'd had an "improper relationship" with the aide.

Mr Hague, 49, said Christopher Myers, a special adviser who resigned from his job yesterday was "easily qualified" for the role and that allegations that he was appointed because they were having a relationship were "utterly false".

He said he regretted sharing hotel rooms with the adviser during this year's election campaign because of what it has led to.

"Neither of us would have done so if we had thought that it in any way meant or implied something else," Mr Hague said in a statement.

"In hindsight I should have given greater consideration to what might have been made of that, but this is in itself no justification for allegations of this kind," he added.

Mr Hague, who was Conservative Party leader between 1997 and 2001, said Myers had decided to quit because of "pressure on his family from the untrue and malicious allegations".

He said he and his wife had so far been unable to have children and she suffered "multiple miscarriages," including one as recently as this summer, for which the couple were "still grieving".

"It has been an immensely traumatic and painful experience but our marriage is strong and we will face whatever the future brings together," Mr Hague said.

"We wish everyone to know that we are very happily married."

The foreign secretary also took the opportunity in his personal statement to say that his marriage was not in trouble and he denied he ever had a relationship with a man.

Hague revealed that he and Ffion have been traumatised by their inability to conceive a child but that the fertility problems had drawn them closer together.

"I have made no secret of the fact that Ffion and I would love to start a family," he said.

The foreign secretary also said that several years ago a Sunday newspaper reported that Ffion was three months pregnant without checking the story with the couple.

The revelation was made "even more difficult" as the couple "had only just experienced another disappointment" of a miscarriage, Mr Hague said.

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."

Mr Hague said he would not be commenting further on the issue.

His highly detailed statement will be seen as an attempt to draw a line under rumours that had been circulating over the internet about the nature of his relationship with Mr Myers.

The adviser's qualifications had been questioned by some commentators, who believed he lacked experience for his job in the British Foreign Office.

But Mr Hague praised Mr Myers, adding he had "demonstrated commitment and political talent over the last 18 months".

"It is a pity that a talented individual should feel that he needs to leave his job in this way," he said.

Mr Myers (25) was employed by Mr Hague during the election campaign as a constituency aide and had worked for the foreign secretary as a policy adviser on a salary reported to be £30,000.

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