Boris Johnson should ignore all the insults, says William Hague

Former Foreign Secretary William Hague has taken time out from his retirement in Mid Wales to issue advice to Boris Johnson.

The politician, now Lord Hague of Richmond, who moved to Cyfronydd Hall, near Llanfair Caereinion, earlier this year, set out his pointers to the controversial new minister.

Listing a number of things for Mr Johnson to consider, Lord Hague urges him to use his public image and notoriety to his advantage as he takes on his new role at the Foreign Office.

William Hague

Speaking in a weekly political column that he writes, he tells Mr Johnson: "Make the most of your unusual advantage of being both very well known and underestimated at the same time. You can ignore the ribaldry that has greeted your appointment in some quarters – wherever you travel, governments and people will want to hear the words of one of our most recognisable Foreign Secretaries in history."

The column comes the day after Mr Johnson was quizzed on his comments about current American President Barack Obama, and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, during a Press conference with US Secretary of State, John Kerry.

Lord Hague also encourages Mr Johnson to travel to countries across the globe to "show we are strengthening friendships, old and new".

He said: "From 2010 we restored relations with countries like Australia, Canada and New Zealand to their proper level after Labour ministers rarely visited them."

The new Foreign Secretary has also been urged to "reject the idea that Britain's influence in the world will shrink as emerging powers get stronger."

Lord Hague said: "Some of those powers are not going to complete their emergence, and those that do are many years from managing peace and security in the world. As we raise our defence spending again, we should use our seat at the UN Security Council with confidence and not let the mistakes made over Iraq neuter our readiness to act.

"The worst thing that happened to me was Parliament refusing to take action in Syria, which emboldened Moscow, Assad and terrorist extremists alike. Be ready to intervene, carefully and judiciously, to prevent anarchy overseas."

Another area of focus should be policy making in Turkey and the Middle East, which Lord Hague describes "as one of the key fault lines in international affairs".

Lord Hague says it is vital that Mr Johnson proves his point that Europe is not the same as the EU "by pushing initiatives in the south east of our continent".

He said: "A settlement of the Cyprus question would be a huge boost for stability in the Mediterranean. And the presence and influence of the UK in the western Balkans is vital to prevent it sliding backwards to confrontation."

Mr Johnson is also encouraged to visit America soon "so they put us at the front of the queue for trade talks".

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News