Matthew John David "Matt" Hancock (born 2 October 1978) is a British Conservative Party politician. He has been the Member of Parliament for West Suffolk since 2010. On 15 July 2016 Hancock was appointed as Minister of State responsible for digital policy in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Hancock was the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, also attending Cabinet meetings. He previously served as jointly Minister of State for Business and Enterprise and Minister of State for Energy in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government.
Hancock was educated at Farndon County Primary School, in Farndon, Cheshire; the King's School, an independent school in Chester in Cheshire; and West Cheshire College, a further education college. He gained a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Exeter College, University of Oxford, and a MPhil in Economics from Christ's College, Cambridge. Hancock has been a member of the Conservative Party since 1999.
After university, Hancock briefly worked for his family’s computer software company, before moving to London to work as an economist at the Bank of England, specialising in the housing market. In 2005 he became an economic adviser to the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, later becoming Osborne's chief of staff.
He stepped down from his role with the party in February 2010 after being selected for the final six potential candidates for the West Suffolk constituency in the 2010 general election. Hancock narrowly won the selection contest, which took place in Mildenhall, after four rounds of voting, beating Natalie Elphicke by 88 votes to 81 votes in the final round of voting.
Hancock won the West Suffolk seat with 24,312 votes, 13,050 votes ahead of Liberal Democrat candidate, Belinda Brooks-Gordon. In June, Hancock was elected to the Public Accounts Committee, the select committee responsible for overseeing government expenditures to ensure they are effective and honest.
The frequency of his appearances in the House and contributions to debates are well above average and he has voted for tuition fees, encouraging occupational pensions and raising VAT. On 26 November 2011 he was on the panel for BBC Radio 4's Any Questions.
In January 2013, he was accused of dishonesty by Daybreak presenter Matt Barbet after claiming he had been excluded from a discussion about apprentices after turning up "just 30 seconds late." Barbet said Hancock knew he was "much more than a minute late" and he should have arrived half an hour beforehand to prepare for the interview. His opponent expressed surprise that "a minister whose Government berates 'shirkers' couldn't be bothered to get out of bed to defend his own policy."
In October 2013, he was promoted to Minister of State for Skills & Enterprise in a government reshuffle.
In the July 2014 cabinet reshuffle, he was promoted again, this time to Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, Minister of State for Energy, and Minister of State for Portsmouth. On 27 July he announced protection for National Parks — seen as a method of reducing anger in Conservative constituencies ahead of the election. Interviewed on the Today programme, he rejected the suggestion that fracking was highly unpopular but when challenged was unable to name a single village which supported it.
He has attracted controversy in his role as Minister of State for Energy for hiring a private jet to fly back from a climate conference and accepting money from climate change denial organization Global Warming Policy Foundation. In October 2014, he apologized after retweeting a poem suggesting that the Labour Party was "full of queers," describing his actions as a "total accident".
Hancock became Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General on 11 May 2015. He headed David Cameron’s "earn or learn" taskforce which aimed to have every young person earning or learning from April 2017. He announced that jobless 18- to 21-year-olds would be required to do work experience as well as looking for jobs or face losing their benefits.
- "Matthew Hancock". Conservatives.com. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- Archived 8 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- Archived 30 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Matthew Hancock". Timesonline.com. Retrieved 8 April 2015. (subscription required)
- "Tory hopeful Matthew Hancock moves into his new home". Newmarket Journal. 11 March 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "Election 2010: Constituency: Suffolk West". BBC News. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "Members of the 2010 intake dominate the Conservative membership of Select Committees Tory MPs". Conservative Home. 24 June 2010. Archived from the original on 27 June 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "Matthew Hancock, former MP, West Suffolk". TheyWorkForYou.com. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "Any Questions?, London Radio Theatre". BBC Radio 4. 26 November 2011. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- Peter Dominiczak (11 January 2013). "Hancock's half-hour: Tory minister accused of 'dishonesty' about missed TV appearance". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- Peter Dominiczak (27 July 2014). "National parks to be 'protected' from fracking, Government says". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Georgia Graham (28 July 2014). "Fracking: Matthew Hancock fails to name a single village that supports it". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Severin Carrell (2 April 2015). "Energy minister under fire for hiring jet to fly back from climate change deal". The Guardian. London.
- Rowena Mason (10 April 2015). "Energy and climate change minister accepts £18,000 from climate sceptic". The Guardian. London.
- "Minister Matthew Hancock sorry for 'queers' retweet". BBC News. 2 October 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP". Gov.uk.
- "Hancock: Every young person should be earning or learning from April 2017" (Press release). Cabinet Office. 17 August 2015.
- "New jobs for East Anglian MPs as ministers in May government". ITV News. 16 July 2016. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
- "Matthew Hancock MP to ride in the Newmarket 350th Town Plate race". Matthew Hancock MP. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
- Personal website
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament
for West Suffolk
|Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise
| Succeeded by|
|Minister of State for Business and Enterprise
| Succeeded by|
as Minister of State for Small Business
|Minister of State for Energy
| Succeeded by|
|Minister of State for Portsmouth
| Succeeded by|
|Minister for the Cabinet Office
| Succeeded by|