British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he is stepping down to become leader of the House of Commons, part of a larger Cabinet reshuffle.
Hague, a member of Parliament for the last quarter of a century, has served as foreign secretary since 2010. He also announced Monday that he will not seek reelection in May.
The Oxford-educated Yorkshireman’s political bent started early: His mother gave him a membership in the Conservative Party for his 15th birthday. In 1997, at age 36 — and with relatively little experience — he became leader of the party, which had just been booted out of power.
He served as party leader for the next four years, during which he reorganized and modernized the party and frequently outwitted Prime Minister Tony Blair during the weekly questioning in the House of Commons, the lower house. Critics, however, said he appealed to the party’s core rather than expanding its base.
Hague posted the following comments on Twitter on Monday:
“Tonight I am standing down as Foreign Secretary after 4 years to serve as Leader of the House of Commons. I will not stand as an MP in the May 2015 General Election, after 26 years as an MP. Role as Leader of the House means I will finish in politics as I began – speaking in Parliament and campaigning among the voters. From May 2015, after such a long period in politics I want to embark on many other things I have always wanted to do. Renewal in politics is good, and holding office is not an end in itself. After 26 years as an MP time will be right for me to move on. I’m proud we now have a restored @foreignoffice, revived alliances, a new course in Europe, and stronger UK leadership on #humanrights. I will take forward the UK campaign to end sexual violence in conflict as the PM’s Special Representative.”
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