William Hague came out fighting for Rupert Murdoch after a report from MPs branded him “not a fit person” to run an international company. This is from the man who worked for the News of the World as one of their highest paid columnists, earning over £400,000 from it and his publishing deals.
Rowing back against efforts to pressure media regulators Ofcom over their “fit and proper” rule, Billy Fizz told Radio Five Live:
“They are great business people, let us be clear about that … people who run big businesses around the world are very capable people”
Hauge was brought to News Of The World by Andy Coulson in 2003. In his two years as a columnist Hague was paid an eye-watering £390,000 by the Murdoch red top — comprising four six-month contracts each worth almost £100,000. Hague is rumoured to have introduced Coulson to George Osborne, who fatefully brought him into Number 10.
Hague’s biographies of William Wilberforce and Pitt the Younger, written while he was on the backbenches, were published by Murdoch’s HarperCollins — boosting his income from NewsCorp companies to nearer £1m.
In backing NewsCorp, the foreign secretary follows in the tracks of fellow Murdoch columnist Michael Gove, who was one of Jeremy Hunt’s staunchest defenders after his bruising Commons statement last week. And while Louise Mensch’s books are published by Hachette, it is notable that her sister Tilly Bagshawe has transitioned from Hachette to Harper Collins.
We’re sure Mensch’s performances over the last year will not have debarred her from joining Murdoch’s stable of bestselling authors.
UPDATE: In addition to paying him obscene amounts of money, the News of the World also seem to have gone to bat for Hague. According to testimony by Paul Staines (of Guido Fawkes fame) to the Leveson Inquiry, backed up by inside sources, they bought up embarrassing pictures of Hague’s special advisor at the height of the scandal over their relationship, and buried the story.
We took the photos to the News of the World. They bought them for £20,000 and never published them. I don’t know very much but I know you don’t pay £20,000 for photos not to publish.