Secretary of State William Hague is seeing comfortable levels of public support after he released a controversial statement hitting back at allegations of an ‘improper relationship’ with a male adviser, Christopher Myers, our survey for The Sunday Times has found. 59% felt that Hague was right to release the statement, which included intimate details of his marriage to wife Ffion, compared to just 17% who felt it was the wrong move.
Equally, 46% believe Hague’s claims that rumours of a relationship were ‘utterly false’ and that his 13-year old marriage remains ‘strong’, in comparison to a far smaller 12% who believe that an ‘improper relationship’ did take place. A significant 42% remain undecided, however.
The rumours began when Hague was found to have shared a twin room with Myers while away on business, and despite support for his statement, public opinion is split on whether the MP exercised poor judgement in sharing a room in the first place.
43% think that it was an ‘error of judgement’, but an almost equal 42% disagree. Interestingly, it seems that the younger generation are far more relaxed when it comes to rumours of room-sharing. While 59% of the over 60s think Hague made a serious blunder, just 18% of the 18-24 age group consider it a bad move.
When the situation was brought closer to home, panellists were equally divided. When asked how comfortable they would feel ‘if an employer asked [them] to share a twin-bed hotel room with a member of the same sex on a business trip’, just over half (51%) claimed they would be ‘completely’ or ‘fairly comfortable’, while 42% were not so keen.