When Hillary Clinton met Dame Irene, in a chip shop in South Shields

By Linsey McNeill
Home » When Hillary Clinton met Dame Irene, in a chip shop in South Shields

Hays Travel boss Dame Irene Hays revealed she met Hillary Clinton, in a South Shields chip shop.

Making the revelation at the opening of the Hays Travel Conference in Bodrum in Turkey, Dame Irene said the pair had chatted about former US President Bill Clinton and her late husband, Hays Travel founder John Hays, over a fish and chip supper.

When the former US Secretary of State and First Lady had asked Dame Irene what was John’s favourite thing to do, she told her that what he loved most of all was standing on stage at the company’s annual conference and seeing all the Hays’ staff in the audience.

Speaking at the first conference since John’s death in November 2020, Dame Irene said: “He isn’t here, so I am doing it for him,” before paying tribute to John with a brief video of his best moments.

Hillary Clinton was in South Shields as a guest of former MP David Miliband, who had invited her to give a lecture in his old constituency before taking her to Colmans fish and chip shop, which is a North East institution.

Dame Irene, who is heavily involved in the South Tyneside community, was invited to sit with Ms Clinton.

However, Hillary Clinton isn’t the only famous person Dame Irene has met. She has also dined on fish and chips with celebrities including singer Sting, Skyfall director Sam Mendes and footballer and TV pundit Gary Lineker, who have all been invited to talk in South Shields by David Miliband, President of the International Rescue Committee.

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