Gregory William Hands (born 14 November 1965) is a British Conservative Party politician who served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2015 until 2016, and has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Chelsea and Fulham since 2010.
Following the 2016 referendum vote to leave the European Union and Cameron's consequent resignation, Hands was demoted by newly appointed Prime Minister Theresa May to a junior Ministerial position. Following the 2017 general election, he retained his position as Minister of State for Trade and Investment but also undertook the Minister for London role, replacing Gavin Barwell who lost his seat.
Hands has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Chelsea and Fulham since 2010; the constituency was created that year by the splitting of the former constituencies of Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham. Previously, he represented Hammersmith and Fulham from 2005 to 2010.
Early life and career
Hands was born in New York City, and completed his secondary education at Dr Challoner's Grammar School, Amersham in 1984. He went on to attend Robinson College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a First class degree in Modern History in 1989. He joined the Conservative Party as a student, served as the Chairman of the Cambridge University Conservative Association (CUCA) and was on the Executive Committee of the Cambridge University Students' Union.
During his gap year he worked in a swimming pool in Berlin, and became interested in the Eastern Bloc, visiting Prague and other Eastern European cities on future holidays. He worked on trading floors in the City of London and New York City until 1997. He has dual American/British nationality.
Hands was elected as a councillor in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in 1998. He became the leader of the Conservative group in 1999, remaining in that capacity until 2003. He stood down as councillor for the Town Ward in Fulham at the local elections in 2006, having been elected to the House of Commons at the 2005 general election when he gained Hammersmith and Fulham from the Labour Party with a majority of 5,029 votes. The sitting Labour MP Iain Coleman retired due to ill-health, and was replaced as Labour’s candidate by Melanie Smallman. During March 2010, the UK media reported that Lord Ashcroft donated over £42,000 to fund Hands' 2005 campaign in Hammersmith and Fulham.
Hands made his maiden speech on 26 May 2005, in which he referred to the fact that the BBC was the largest employer in his constituency, and that Hammersmith Broadway was the busiest road interchange in Europe.
In 2007, Hands was selected to be the Conservative candidate for the new Chelsea and Fulham parliamentary constituency. His previous seat of Hammersmith and Fulham was abolished for the 2010 general election, with Hammersmith having its own seat (being fought by Shaun Bailey for the Conservatives), and Fulham joining Chelsea in a new seat. In January 2009, Hands was appointed to the Conservative front bench team as a shadow Treasury minister. He is also the Parliamentary Chairman of Conservative Friends of Poland.
On 14 October 2011, Hands was appointed as an assistant government whip in the House of Commons as a consequence of the mini-reshuffle following the resignation of Dr Liam Fox as Secretary of State for Defence.
In May 2015, following the Conservatives' general election win, Hands was promoted to the position of Chief Secretary to the Treasury and thus the cabinet. He was made a privy councillor in the process. In the 2016 reshuffle following the EU referendum and Theresa May's appointment as prime minister, he was made Minister of State for Trade Policy at the newly formed Department for International Trade.
Following the Grenfell Tower fire which killed 71 people, Hands called for the Notting Hill Carnival to be moved. He said: "We have to ask ourselves if it is appropriate to stage a Carnival in the near proximity of a major national disaster." Local residents, event organisers and the Labour MP for Kensington all rejected his suggestion. Justice4Grenfell coordinator Yvette Williams stated that "The Carnival route does not go near Grenfell and I'm failing to find the link between the Grenfell Tower fire and Carnival". The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, dismissed Hands' proposal.
He resigned his ministerial post on 21 June 2018, owing to his opposition to government plans to expand Heathrow Airport.
- "About Greg".
- "Hugh Muir Diary". The Guardian. London. 6 November 2008.
- "Cashcroft bought 19 seats". Daily Mirror. 7 March 2010.
- Hansard Debates for 26 May 2005 House of Commons, 26 May 2005
- Conservative Friends of Poland website Archived 3 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- "Profiles: David Cameron's ministerial line-up". Financial Times. London. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
- "Brown slow to defend bail-out chief". Financial Times. London. 12 February 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
- "Ministerial Appointments" (Press release). 10 Downing Street.
- Pasha-Robinson, Lucy (7 July 2017). "Tory minister wants to move Notting Hill Carnival because of Grenfell Tower fire disaster". The Independent. London. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Greg Hands MP Official site
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 2010–present
- Contributions in Parliament during 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 at Hansard Archives
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Guardian Unlimited Politics – Ask Aristotle: Greg Hands MP
- Profile at BBC News Democracy Live
- Official channel at YouTube
- 'Gazette' local newspaper column written by Greg Hands and other West London MPs
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament
for Chelsea and Fulham
Hammersmith and Fulham (2005–2010)
| Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Commons
| Treasurer of the Household|
| Chief Secretary to the Treasury
| Minister for London