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10th May 2010

Exonians in Parliament

Following the General Election on 6th May, Exeter is proud to have three Old Members serving as MPs.

Matthew Hancock (1996, PPE) is Member of Parliament for West Suffolk. After Exeter, he first worked for his family’s computer software company, and then for the Bank of England as an economist. In 2005 George Osborne approached him to advise on economic policy. He rose to become Osborne’s Chief of Staff, managing the Party’s Treasury Team, and advising on policy, before stepping down in February 2010 to concentrate on West Suffolk. On being elected, he said on his website: “I am delighted to be elected as MP for West Suffolk. Those of us who are elected must never forget that it is an honour to be in Parliament.”

Patrick Mercer (1977, Modern History) is Member of Parliament for Newark. After Oxford he joined the Army, where most of his service was in Northern Ireland though he also served in Germany, Canada, Uganda, Brunei and the Balkans. He was made MBE in 1992 and elevated to OBE in 1996 for service in Bosnia. After leaving the Army in 1999, he became defence correspondent for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, and became prospective parliamentary candidate for Newark in 2000. In 2001, he took the Labour-held seat and converted a Labour majority of 3000 to a Conservative majority of just over 4000. Following the events of September 11th 2001, he served on the House of Commons Defence Select Committee and then moved into the Tory Defence Team where he acted as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Shadow Defence Secretary during the second Gulf War.

Nick Hurd (1981, Literae Humaniores) is MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner. He is also Minister for Civil Society, responsible for charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations in the Cabinet Office. Before entering politics, he had a career in business. He has been a private sector adviser to the British Government on export advice for British companies, and set up the Small Business Network to advise the Shadow DTI team on the priorities of the Small Business Sector. Outside politics, he is interested in sport, music and working to help young people realise their potential.

All three are Conservatives.

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