Matthew Hancock

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Matthew Hancock
Matthew Hancock MP.jpg
Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise
Assumed office
4 September 2012
Preceded by John Hayes
Member of Parliament
for West Suffolk
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Richard Spring
Majority 13,050 (27.1%)
Personal details
Born (1978-10-02) 2 October 1978 (age 35)
Chester, Cheshire
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Alma mater Exeter College, Oxford
Christ's College, Cambridge

Matthew John David Hancock[1] (born 2 October 1978) is a British Conservative Party politician who was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for West Suffolk at the general election in May 2010.

Since September 2012, he has been the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for further education, skills and lifelong learning (a joint post between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education).

Early life[edit]

Hancock was educated at Farndon County Primary School, in Farndon, Cheshire, West Cheshire College (a further education college) and The King's School, an independent school in Chester in Cheshire.[2] 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.[2] Hancock has been a member of the Conservative Party since 1999.[3]


After university, Hancock briefly worked for his family’s computer software company,[4] before moving to London to work as an economist at the Bank of England, specialising in the housing market.[5] In 2005 he became an economic adviser to the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, later becoming Osborne's chief of staff.[2]

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.[6]


Hancock won the West Suffolk seat with 24,312 votes, 13,050 votes ahead of Liberal Democrat candidate, Belinda Brooks-Gordon.[7] 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.[8]

The frequency of his appearances in the house and contributions to debates are well above average and he has voted very strongly for tuition fees, encouraging occupational pensions and raising VAT.[9] On 26 November 2011 he was on the panel for BBC Radio 4's Any Questions.[10]

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."[11] Barbet said Hancock knew he was "much more than a minute late" and he should have arrived half an hour before 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."[11] Beginning from October 2013, he has been promoted to Minister of State for Skills & Enterprise in a government reshuffle.

Personal life[edit]

He lives in the constituency in Little Thurlow[6] with his wife Martha and daughter and son.


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Richard Spring
Member of Parliament for West Suffolk