Pitt and Wilberforce: contrasting friends


Since resigning as the youngest-ever Leader of the Conservative Party, in 2001, William Hague has combined his continued work as MP for Richmond (Yorkshire), with the publication of two historical biographies. In the first, William Pitt the Younger, he explored a subject for whom he had an obvious sympathy: William Pitt had, at 24, become the youngest Prime Minister this country has ever known. He then moved on to tackle, in time for last year’s bicentenary of the abolition of slavery, the life of Pitt’s friend and ally William Wilberforce, the orator and campaigner who shunned all honours, titles and ministerial positions, and yet became one of the most influential politicians in British history. William Hague, now Shadow Foreign Secretary, examines the friendship and contrast between these two remarkable politicians in a talk that promises to be both masterly and riveting – for, as the Sunday Times has noted, ‘he has that commendable gift of the professional politician: unerring ability to retain the attention of his audience’. Chaired by Anne Chisholm.

Recorded on Monday 16 June 2008.

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