Hague’s start as a copy jockey It’s hard to believe, but there was a time when William Hague was out of the public eye. While TS is tempted to suggest that time may soon come again, for now we prefer to focus on the period between his debut at that Tory conference and his ascendancy to the top of the party pile.

Grinding out at a career at consultants McKinsey’s back in the heady days of the 80s, young William found himself managed by none other than Sir Howard Davies, the genial chairman of the Financial Services Authority.

Sir Howard is not someone who is shy about passing on an anecdote or two. ‘I think his first job when he came into the firm was directly working on one of my teams,’ Sir Howard said.

So how was the leader of Her Majesty’s opposition as an employee? ‘When you gave him some photocopying he would go away and do it and come back with it straight away,’ he jokes.

Unfortunately diplomacy then overcomes him and he mutters a series of sentences that include compliments like ‘clever chap’, ‘hard working’ and, to our surprise, ‘self-effacing’.

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