William Jefferson Hague (b 1961) is a senior British Conservative Party politician. He achieved early fame by addressing the 1977 Conservative Party conference, aged 16. Educated at a local comprehensive (state) school in South Yorkshire, and at Oxford University, he worked for consultants McKinsey before being elected to Parliament for Richmond, Yorkshire in 1989. In 1997 he succeeded John Major as leader of the Conservative Party (automatically becoming Leader of the Opposition), but resigned in 2001 following the party's failure in that year's general election. After several years as a backbencher, he was appointed Shadow Foreign Secretary by Conservative Party leader David Cameron in 2005.