Matt Hancock has been named the new culture secretary replacing Karen Bradley in the cabinet reshuffle which took place today, Monday, 8th January, following the holiday recess.
“Such an exciting agenda, so much to do and great people. Can’t wait to get stuck in.”
Hancock, who was already a junior minister in the department has been promoted to the cabinet. His promotion follows Karen Bradley’s appointment as the new Northern Ireland secretary.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which Hancock, 39, now heads has grown to cover a range of portfolios. Writing on Twitter, he said he was “thrilled” to become culture secretary and added: “Such an exciting agenda, so much to do and great people. Can’t wait to get stuck in.”
Hancock was educated at Farndon County Primary School, in Farndon, Cheshire; the King’s School, an independent school in Chester, Cheshire; and West Cheshire College, a further education college. He graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, having studied at Exeter College, Oxford, and later received a MPhil in Economics from Christ’s College, Cambridge.Hancock became a member of the Conservative Party in 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.
Hancock was elected as the MP for West Suffolk at the 2010 general election 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.
In March 2013, Hancock initiated and assisted the development of the Conservative government’s minimum wage policy. Against internal and external party opposition, Hancock highlighted that most economic analyses demonstrate that raising the minimum wage had “no discernible effect on the employment prospects of low-wage workers”. The subsequent rises in employment indicate that Hancock was vindicated on this matter.
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 from fracking for National Parks seen as a method of reducing anger in Conservative constituencies ahead of the election.
He 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.
Hancock moved to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as the Minister of State for Digital and Culture on 15 July 2016 after Theresa May became prime minister. As minister for digital policy, Hancock in June 2017 recommitted to a “full fibre” digital policy. This promises that the UK will enjoy 5G “superfast broadband” at speeds of 24Mbit/s+ for 97% of the UK by 2020.