No official Hague invite to Lib Dem conference

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According to today’s Daily Mail, the Foreign Secretary William Hague is being lined up to speak at the Liberal Democrats’ annual conference in Liverpool next month. The paper describes Hague’s participation as ‘a move designed to cement relations between the coalition partners’.

The Foreign Secretary, widely seen as one of the best orators in the Commons, is expected to lead a Conservative charm offensive at the gathering in Liverpool in the hope of winning over disaffected LibDem activists. Tory sources suggest Mr Hague will give a ‘witty’ address, rather than focusing heavily on policy.

The attendance of the former Conservative leader is designed to symbolise how close the parties’ top brass have become since the coalition deal was struck.

A party spokesman said:

William Hague is not part of the conference agenda and I can confirm that he has not been asked to speak at the Liberal Democrat conference. No Conservative ministers have ever been approached to speak at our conference.

Fringe events are still being finalised, and it is of course possible that an independent group may have invited Mr Hague to speak at their Fringe event. But this is no different to any other year and it is common for MPs of all parties to attend these events.

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21 Comments

  • Anthony Aloysius St 7th Aug '10 - 8:58am

    To say nothing of the fact that he fought a quite offensively illiberal election campaign in 2001.

    The more I read of this sort of guff – the wit and charm of William Hague and so on – the more I think something is very wrong with the way the coalition is being approached. Surely the Tories are still the Lib Dems’ opponents, and this should be an extremely cautious truce at best, with the party doing its utmost to make sure it’s not outmanoeuvred.

    It seems some people have not only fallen in love with the enemy, but think it’s a good idea to jump into bed with them and play bondage games …

  • Susan Gaszczak 7th Aug '10 - 9:00am

    There are lots of errors in the Fail article

    1) Danny and Sarah have speeches
    2) Conference is September not October
    3) FCC (Federal Conference Committee) is not divided

    And of course the most important facts neither Hague nor Cameron have been invited or offered to speak.

  • George W. Potter 7th Aug '10 - 9:52am

    Remarkably LibCon have picked up the story and are running it as true. I think it’s safe to say that they’ve just degenerated into a hide out for Labour trolls these days.

  • Rob Sheffield 7th Aug '10 - 10:19am

    @Susan Gaszczak

    There are lots of errors in the Fail articl

    Still, if true, it will help to cement the growing impression in the electorates mind that your two parties are merging into one. Inevitably this road leads to ‘coupons’ and pacts and the dissolving of identities.

  • George W. Potter 7th Aug '10 - 10:52am

    Dave, I suppose I mean that it was far less notable back before they got all bitter about losing the election.

  • George W. Potter 7th Aug '10 - 10:52am

    *noticeable

  • Susan Gaszczak 7th Aug '10 - 11:16am

    @Rob Sheffield

    None of it is true – at Federal Conference Committee decided we need to be the ‘Liberal Democrats’, I think that is what most people want. We do not want to seem to be a wing of the Tory party.

  • @Susan – would it not dispel these rumours if the Conf Ctte published the agenda and motions. Seems extraordinary that Newsnight knew about the motions a week ago and party members have not yet been told

  • Peter Venables 7th Aug '10 - 1:02pm

    Does it matter, It’s what you do in government that counts, Hague is, whether you like it or not, acting in the name of the coalition. You have the opportunity to challenge a minister, use it.
    I don’t think many people in the country would think you any more tory, than they do now, if he appeared at your conference.

  • Susan Gaszczak 7th Aug '10 - 1:22pm

    @SmCg

    They are at the printers ATM – should be out next week….

  • Conservative 7th Aug '10 - 1:49pm

    I would like to think that we don’t make this bed share a permanent thing and get on with acknowledging that we will be fighting each other at the locals in only 9 months time…conferences are party conferences for a reason – if we want a coalition conference then set up a separate one.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 7th Aug '10 - 11:54pm

    “… get on with acknowledging that we will be fighting each other at the locals in only 9 months time …”

    Ssh! Ssh!

    If you keep quiet about it, Nick Clegg will never suspect that his best friend Dave could do anything so nasty as to try to take seats from the Lib Dems – until it’s too late …

  • Andrea Gill 8th Aug '10 - 10:10am

    I would love to hear Hague say his change of mind on Europe is definitely #nickcleggsfault…

  • Rob Sheffield 8th Aug '10 - 12:13pm

    @AAS

    Nick Clegg will never suspect that his best friend Dave could do anything so nasty as to try to take seats from the Lib Dems – until it’s too late …

    Or rather anything so beastly

  • Andrew Wiseman 8th Aug '10 - 9:59pm

    As Susan G has said there has been no invitation to Hague or any other Tory to address conference. FCC’s policy is clear. How ever many tiimes we say it the press will no doubt still run these stories. When the agenda is mailed out no doubt they will interpret our ’emergency motion’ or ‘topical issue’ slot as a speech for George Osborne or Ken Clarke! They are not, they are slots we always reserve for topical issues and emergency motions!!

    Andrew Wiseman
    Chair, Federal Conference Committee

  • Susan Gaszczak 10th Aug '10 - 8:31am

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