Users of the app are greeted with a short video message from Matt Hancock MP. Image: Matt Hancock
Exeter alumnus Matt Hancock (1996, PPE), Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and MP for West Suffolk, has become the first Member of Parliament to release their own app.
The Official Matt Hancock app is designed to help constituents in West Suffolk connect with their MP. It provides exclusive content and updates straight from Mr Hancock, including photos and video content. It also allows users to sign up as friends and chat with other users of the Matt Hancock app.
In a cheerful greeting message for first-time users of the app Mr Hancock explains: “It’s a chance to find out what’s going on both in my role as MP for West Suffolk and as culture secretary, and most importantly it’s a chance for you to tell me what you think, and to engage with others on issues that matter to you.”
In a statement, Mr Hancock said that his app allows him to “quickly assess which members are asking what, when and how often, and respond to the issues the community is most engaged with.” He explained that the app was better than using social media because it allows complete editorial control, user privacy and community moderation.
He added, “I’m delighted to have the chance to use this to build a safe, open and accessible online community for my West Suffolk constituents and to engage with the issues that matter to them.”
Already over a thousand people have downloaded the app, with an average user rating of 3.8 out of 5. While some people have questioned the need for the app, others have called it a “game changer” and suggested that all elected officials should follow suit. Mr Hancock has celebrated the popularity of the app, writing on Twitter: “Great to see people loading pictures of my visit to West Suffolk to the Matt Hancock app. This is what it’s all about.”
The app is available on Apple and Android devices and can be downloaded here.