Matt Hancock, the MP for West Suffolk, has taken over as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care from Jeremy Hunt, who has been appointed Foreign Secretary following a Cabinet re-shuffle by Prime Minister, Theresa May.
His appointment to the pivotal healthcare role in the NHS’s 70th Anniversary Year comes in the wake of resignation of both Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary and Brexit Secretary, David Davis, over the ‘shape’ that any Brexit deal should take, and differences of opinion on this with the Prime Minister and other Cabinet Members.
Having been elected in the 2010 General Election, Matt Hancock served as a backbench MP on the Public Accounts Committee and the Standards & Privileges Committee, entering government in September 2012. He has since served in a number of Ministerial Roles, including for skills and business, and as Paymaster General. He has also overseen the expansion of apprenticeships, and, the Department of Health and Social Care says, ‘championed the digital transformation of government’. Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport from 8 January to 9 July this year, he was previously Minister of State for Digital from July 2016 to January 2018, responsible for broadband, broadcasting, creative industries, cyber, and the tech industry.
Before entering politics, he worked for his family business, as an economist at the Bank of England, and as Chief of Staff to the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. He holds degrees from Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
Married, with three young children, he is the first MP in modern times to win a horse race, having raced to victory at the Newmarket July Course in August 2012. He is also an avid cricketer and plays for the Lords & Commons Cricket team, and once played the most northerly game of cricket on record, succumbing to frostbite en route to the Pole.
On his own ‘Twitter’ feed Matt Hancock said on taking up the new role: “Really looking forward to joining the Department of Health and Social Care at such an important time for our great NHS. I can’t wait to get started.”
Jeremy Hunt had been Secretary of State for Health for six years.