Matthew John David Hancock grew up in Cheshire. He attended Farndon County Primary School, West Cheshire College and The King’s School, Chester. He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Exeter College, Oxford, and gained a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Cambridge.
Matthew’s first job was with his family computer software business. Later, he worked for five years as an economist at the Bank of England and in 2005 moved to work for the then Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.
He stepped down from his role with George Osborne in February 2010 after being selected as the Conservative candidate for West Suffolk for the 2010 general election. On winning the seat, Matthew was elected to the Public Accounts Committee, which scrutinises and questions the way that Government departments spend taxpayers’ money and the Committee on Standards and Privileges that adjudicates on MPs’ conduct.
In 2011, he co-authored ‘Masters of Nothing’ with fellow new MP Nadhim Zahawi. The book explores the human behaviour that caused the crash and the changes needed to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
As part of his constituency duties, representing Newmarket, Matthew is a passionate supporter of the horseracing industry. In the summer of 2012, he took part in a charity horse race at Newmarket’s famous July Course. He crossed the line first, becoming the first sitting MP known to have won a horse race since the First World War.
In September 2012 Matthew was asked to become Minister for Skills, and stepped down from his Committee roles. As Skills Minister Matthew is responsible for Apprenticeships, sixth forms, and Further Education working across the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education. In October 2013 Matthew was asked to become the Minister for Skills and Enterprise, continuing his joint role driving up standards in skills and taking on responsibility for Enterprise.
Matthew is married to Martha, and has three young children. He is a keen cricketer, and former secretary of the Lords and Commons Cricket Club. In 2005, Matthew set out on foot to play the northernmost game of cricket on record at the North Pole. He didn’t make it to the pole, succumbing to frostbite on the Arctic Ocean, but he did succeed in playing the most northerly recorded game of cricket. He retains all of his fingers.