William Jefferson Hague, FRSL MP (born 26 March 1961) is a British politician, who is the current Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State. He served as Leader of the Conservative Party from June 1997 to September 2001. In Parliament, he has represented the constituency of Richmond (Yorks) since 1989.
Educated at Wath-upon-Dearne Grammar School, a state grammar school, then the University of Oxford (graduating with First Class Honours in Philosophy, Politics and Economics) and INSEAD, Hague was first elected to the House of Commons in a by-election in 1989. Hague rose through the ranks of John Major's government and entered the Cabinet in 1995 as the Secretary of State for Wales. Following the Conservatives' defeat in the 1997 general election, he was elected as leader of the Conservative Party. He resigned as party leader after the 2001 general election following a landslide defeat to the Labour Party. With the technical exception of Lord Carr, who served for a week as acting leader in 1975, Hague was the first person not to have become Prime Minister whilst Leader of the Conservatives since the role of Leader came into being in the early 1920s.
On the backbenches, Hague began a career as an author, writing biographies of William Pitt the Younger and William Wilberforce. He also held several directorships, and worked as a consultant and public speaker. After David Cameron was elected leader of the Conservative Party in 2005, Hague returned to front line politics as shadow foreign secretary. Later in 2010, upon Cameron becoming Prime Minister, Hague took on the roles of First Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary.