As William Hague joined Sapper Matthew Westen on the Andrew Marr Show this past Remembrance Sunday the campaign aide he would later appoint as the third Special Adviser to Her Majesty’s Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary was giving a running commentary in an online chatroom.
Hague told Andrew Marr’s viewers that the Conservatives would, if they won the election, make the war in Afghanistan the government’s “single most urgent focus”. Hague solemnly thanked Sapper Westen for all he had done and all he had sacrificed in Afghanistan. Meanwhile at his keyboard Christopher Myers was online, tapping away chatting to his online friends:
“There was a chap on the the Marr show today, easily younger than me, who had lost his legs and one arm. I know that people sign up for the armed forces in the anticipation of conflict, and casualties are inevitable, but it’s all the harder to justify when it’s in the name of an unwinnable quagmire which is nothing more than a political folly.“
In public Hague was saying
“We’re here to make our own nation more secure and our allies more secure. We’re here really to try to make sure that Afghans can look after their own affairs and their own security in the future without Afghanistan presenting a danger to the rest of the world.”
In private that very same Remembrance Sunday, Chris Myers answered a chatroom friend in response to the question “What motivation do our soldiers of today have in Afghanistan?” candidly:
“Some vague notion that creating a stable state in Afghanistan, which the Soviets before us couldn’t do, will defeat global terror. It doesn’t exactly stand up to scrutiny – terror will always find a home and the major terror plots executed or foiled in the UK have all been home grown.”
In public Hague took the line “We regard progress in Afghanistan, and in the closely-related problems of Pakistan, as the single most urgent focus in foreign affairs for our work as a new government. Failure there would leave the world, ourselves included, much more open to terrorist attack.”
The dissonance between the line Hague gives to the public, and the line the close friend he would appoint as his Foreign Office Special Adviser gives his friends in private raises many questions, not the least of which being: Why did he appoint Myers?
Guido thinks we need to know:
More to follow…
Christopher Myers resigns from the FCO, citing “untrue and malicious allegations”.
“I feel it is necessary to issue this personal statement in response to press and internet speculation over the last ten days. Earlier this year a Sunday newspaper began questioning whether my marriage to Ffion was in trouble, and last week another media outlet asked whether there was a statement about our supposed separation. This seemed to be linked to equally untrue speculation surrounding the appointment of Christopher Myers as a Special Adviser. Christopher Myers has demonstrated commitment and political talent over the last eighteen months. He is easily qualified for the job he holds. Any suggestion that his appointment was due to an improper relationship between us is utterly false, as is any suggestion that I have ever been involved in a relationship with any man.
This speculation seems to stem from the fact that whilst campaigning before the election we occasionally shared twin hotel rooms. Neither of us would have done so if we had thought that it in any way meant or implied something else. 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, which are untrue and deeply distressing to me, to Ffion and to Christopher.
He has now told me that, as a result of the pressure on his family from the untrue and malicious allegations made about him, he does not wish to continue in his position. It is a pity that a talented individual should feel that he needs to leave his job in this way. Ffion and I believe that everyone has a right to a private life.
However, we now feel it necessary to give some background to our marriage because we have had enough of this continued and hurtful speculation about us. I have made no secret of the fact that Ffion and I would love to start a family. For many years this has been our goal. Sadly this has proved more difficult for us than for most couples. We have encountered many difficulties and suffered multiple miscarriages, and indeed are still grieving for the loss of a pregnancy this summer. 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.
It has been an immensely traumatic and painful experience but our marriage is strong and we will face whatever the future brings together. Several years ago one Sunday paper reported that Ffion was three months pregnant, without ever checking the story with us. This made even more difficult the fact that we had only just experienced another disappointment. We have never made this information public because of the distress it would cause to our families and would not do so now were it not for the untrue rumours circulating which repeatedly call our marriage into question. We wish everyone to know that we are very happily married.
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. I will not be making any further comment on these matters.”
A spokesman for William Hague said: “Any suggestion that the Foreign Secretary’s relationship with Chris Myers is anything other than a purely professional one is wholly inaccurate and unfounded.”
Interestingly worded. Note there is no denial that they shared a hotel room.
Guido has ascertained confirmation that for at least one night during the general election campaign the Foreign Secretary shared a hotel room with his then driver Christopher Myers, whom he has now appointed as his Special Adviser on the Civil Service payroll. Other campaign staffers stayed in separate more modest hotels and sources suggest that this was not a one off instance. Guido believes it to be the case that it would be usual for the bill for the room – which was settled by Hague personally – to be reimbursed via the Conservative Party’s election campaign expenses. One witness told Guido that the room sharing couple’s body language at breakfast was eye opening.
It is surely inappropriate for someone of William Hague’s status to be sharing a night in a hotel room with his driver – you only have to consider how absurd it would be if his driver were female to see it is completely bizarre even if there were two beds. The appointment of Hague’s former driver to his private office is controversial because 25-year old Myers has no expertise for the job, no relevant experience and his only qualification for the position is his closeness to the Foreign Secretary.
Eyebrows were raised at CCHQ when William Littlejohn, Hague’s well connected and respected press officer for the last two years, was passed over in favour of Myers – who is currently in hiding from the press. Littlejohn was left effectively jobless after the election until Andy Coulson found him a job with Caroline Spelman. You couldn’t make it up…
Two national Sunday papers have the evidence but, despite journalists putting considerable resources into the story, their editors are reluctant to pursue it. Perhaps because in the words of the song,”no one knows what goes on behind closed doors”…