Mark Simmonds

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For the Australian saxophonist, see Mark Simmonds (saxophonist).
Mark Simmonds
High Level Prosperity Partnerships (10950413836).jpg
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
In office
5 September 2012 – 11 August 2014
Preceded by Henry Bellingham
Succeeded by James Duddridge
Member of Parliament
for Boston and Skegness
In office
7 June 2001 – 30 March 2015
Preceded by Sir Richard Body
Succeeded by Matt Warman
Personal details
Born (1964-04-12) 12 April 1964 (age 53)
Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Lizbeth Hanomancin Garcia
Alma mater Trent Polytechnic

Mark Jonathon Mortlock Simmonds (born 12 April 1964) is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Boston and Skegness in Lincolnshire, and was first elected in 2001, succeeding Sir Richard Body. He was re-elected in 2005 with a greatly increased majority before his subsequent re-election in 2010 - more than doubling his 2005 majority.

In September 2012 he was appointed to the Government as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. On 11 August 2014 he resigned this post and confirmed that he would step down as an MP at the 2015 general election.[1]

In October 2015, he was appointed Non-Executive Director of AIM-listed vertically integrated fertiliser company, African Potash.

Early life[edit]

Born in Worksop, Simmonds went to Worksop College, then Trent Polytechnic, where he obtained a BSc (Hons) degree in Urban Estate Surveying in 1986. He became an Associate of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in 1987. He worked as a surveyor for Savills from 1986 to 1988 and was a partner in Strutt & Parker from 1988 to 1996. He was a Director of Hillier Parker from 1997 to 1999 and a Chairman of Mortlock Simmonds Brown from 1999 until becoming an MP for Boston and Skegness.[2]

Parliamentary career[edit]

He contested the Ashfield seat in 1997. Simmonds was promoted to Shadow Health Minister in 2007.

On 5 September 2012, he was appointed as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.[3] In this role, he was also responsible for the British Overseas Territories.[4] He resigned on 11 August 2014, claiming that he cannot support his family in London on £120k + expenses.[5] According to the Telegraph, although Simmonds legitimately received over £500k from expenses since 2001, changes in the rules following the 2009 United Kingdom parliamentary expenses scandal meant he was no longer able to claim mortgage relief on a house in Putney.[6] He subsequently sold the house at a profit of £537k and bought Swineshead Abbey but said it was impossible for "a government minister with children to have a normal family life."[7]

Following his decision not to stand again, Simmons defended charging expenses to the taxpayer purported to total over £10,000 on hoardings and local radio, advertising the role of the MP and promoting democracy in line with current IPSA guideines. He claimed the money was necessary to communicate with constituents.[8] The political campaigning website 38 Degrees set up a petition calling for him to pay it back.[9]

Personal life[edit]

He married Lizbeth Hanomancin Garcia in December 1994 in London, and they have two daughters (born March 1999 and October 2000) and a son (born April 2002). He lives in his constituency in Swineshead in a house on the former site of Swineshead Abbey.

In 2012 he apologised to Parliament for failing to mention an interest in Circle Healthcare when speaking in support of the Health and Social Care Bill in Parliament.[10]


  1. ^ Watt, Nicholas. "Africa minister Mark Simmonds resigns | Politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "MSBL | Retail Specialists in Property | Mark Simmonds". Retrieved 2016-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Who we are - our Ministers". FCO (Official website). Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  4. ^ "New O.T. Minister for Cayman". Cayman 27. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  5. ^ Christopher Hope (11 August 2014). "Minister quits because £120,000 salary and expenses is not enough to support his family in London". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  6. ^ Holly Watt (11 August 2014). "Mark Simmonds: Expenses system gave Foreign Office minister a £500,000 lift". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  7. ^ Steven Swinford, and Holly Watt (12 August 2014). "How taxpayers helped fund £1m home of minister who can't live on MP's pay". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "MP Mark Simmonds hits out at 'ridiculous' story that he has claimed more than £10,0000 in advertising back on expenses". 4 March 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "£10,000? Mark Simmonds, pay it back.". Retrieved 6 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "MP apologises for failing to mention interest in health firm". BBC News. BBC. 21 February 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 

External links[edit]

News items[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Richard Body
Member of Parliament for Boston and Skegness
Succeeded by
Matt Warman