|Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise|
4 September 2012
|Preceded by||John Hayes|
|Member of Parliament
for West Suffolk
6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Richard Spring|
2 October 1978 |
|Alma mater||Exeter College, Oxford
Christ's College, Cambridge
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).
Hancock was born in and grew up on a farm in rural Cheshire, in a farming family. 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. 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 very strongly 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 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." Beginning from October 2013, he has been promoted to Minister of State for Skills & Enterprise in a government reshuffle.
- Candidate biography, Conservative homepage
- The Times, 26 March 2006
- Newmarket Journal, 11 March 2010, accessed 9 May 2010
- 2010 election results, BBC News 7 May 2010
- They work for you
- Peter Dominiczak, Political Correspondent (11 January 2013). "Hancock's half-hour: Tory minister accused of 'dishonesty' about missed TV appearance". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for West Suffolk