THERESA May is hoping to lure William Hague back into frontline politics to help bolster her crumbling team.
She has pleaded with the ex-Foreign Secretary to be on standby to be her deputy.
Lord Hague has been giving her private advice since he turned down her offer of a Cabinet return last June.
But she is poised to renew her overtures amid fears recent scandals will claim more scalps.
Mrs May relies on Lord Hague as an adviser in the same way Margaret Thatcher leant heavily on Cabinet veteran William Whitelaw and famously declared: “Every PM needs a Willie.”
A source said: “William is top of her wanted list.
“He’ll take some persuading but the PM won’t give up easily.”
Some of Mrs May’s aides want a shake-up within days of Wednesday’s Budget, while others want her to wait until the New Year.
She may have to move earlier if more heads roll.
But Lord Hague’s friends say he is not planning a return.
Since standing down as an MP in 2015, he has made a fortune from books and speeches.
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