Speaking at his party's local government conference, Mr Hague told Tory councillors the party was 'recovering' after defeats by Labour in central and local government elections.
'When I first addressed this conference as leader of the party we were the third party in local government. Irrelevant. Ignored. Not any more. Today we have nearly 1,700 more councillors, we control more than three times as many councils and we have relegated the Liberal Democrats to third place,' he said.