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Independents' Day

What we know about new health secretary Matt Hancock

All the info on the new health secretary

Matt Hancock MP was appointed digital, culture, media and sport secretary in January 2018 having been a junior minister in the department since July 2016. He was first elected an MP in the 2010 general election in the West Suffolk constituency.

Before entering parliament, he worked as an economist at the Bank of England and as chief of staff to the shadow chancellor.

He has little health background, with no obvious links to the NHS, let alone general practice. He has not mentioned GPs or doctors since he started in Parliament in 2010.

However, he is known to be a keen supporter of increasing the use of technology, and it is likely he will bring ethos into his new job - and not just through his time as junior minister for digital services, and secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport.

Mr Hancock had worked in his family business, which developed the software that brings up users’ addresses when they input their postcode. 

He also invited ridicule earlier this year after launching a new social media app named ‘Matt Hancock’ to connect with his constituents.

Earlier this year, he criticised online giants Facebook and Google, warning that the ‘Wild West’ days are over, and telling them that they face far stricter controls over the use of customers’ data.

He also made headlines by calling on more schools to ban mobile phones last month.

Mr Hancock had previously been energy minister, and was criticised for using a private jet to fly home from a climate change conference and accepting money from an organisation that denied climate change.

One of the first people to congratulate Hancock was former chancellor George Osborne, who he worked under when Osborne was shadow chancellor - who also paid tribute to outgoing health secretary Jeremy Hunt:

As an ally of Osborne, he campaigned for the ’Remain’ campaign before the 2016 referendum.

Readers' comments (13)

  • AlanAlmond

    He looks about 12. Marvellous

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  • Plus ca Change, plus ca la meme chose.

    I have a Plan B and the good news it doesn't involve people who would struggle to have a meaningful intellectual discussion with an amoeba.

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  • So he has zero health-related experience?

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  • Health is the new oil well that never stops giving wealth- course it needs a banker to asset strip it and privatise it..........

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  • experience in health care and likely having private health insurance....
    Just the right guy. Apart from Jeremy Hunt, they usually last 12 to 18 months, make a few changes and then move on, usually up the career ladder...

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  • Be careful what you wish for. I was so happy last night when I heard Hunt had gone. He has been terrible right? He did at least have a lot of influence over the PM and was able to openly ask for extra funding. Perhaps some argument in sticking with the devil you know. Now we have a young, inexpereienced, Oxbridge banker. He will have no clue for at least 12 months. May is weak and may go. Get ready to kiss goodbye to the money we were promised.

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  • Several weeks of “reading in” at least. At best he will listen to Civil Servants and CEO of NHS England. Social care not adequately funded yet! No further change over summer at least! Possible General Election in autumn! Await developments!

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  • Great. Full steam shared with AI and digital everything.
    I’ve got a great money saving idea. Let’s go back to pencil and paper. I guarantee this will increase my efficiency by 50%. Gone are the need for updates. Either that or everything on to word documents.
    Having spoken to an NHS IT expert who is charged with moving to digital in a Trust even she says it cannot be done. Unless of course they spend some serious cash and starts from scratch.

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  • sounds ideal to me-bankers are the ones for being skilled at getting lots of bailout money out of the government after all aren't they? just what nhs needs, go Matt

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  • He looks like Hans Gruber from 'Allo, 'Allo.


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