Jeremy Hunt: the comeback politician delivering tough medicine in Britain's budget

Married businessman is the son of an admiral

Jeremy Hunt is married and has three children. EPA
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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt had promised that tough measures will be taken when he delivered his autumn statement — a budget in all but name — on Thursday.

Mr Hunt, 56, is an Oxford University-educated businessman who went on to become a politician in a career that has seen him serve as foreign secretary and health secretary.

He was drafted in by Liz Truss after her mini-budget of tax cuts and borrowing disintegrated around her with the pound slumping, mortgage rates rising and a stock market sell-off.

He survived as chancellor when Rishi Sunak was appointed prime minister and Ms Truss became the country's shortest serving leader.

On Thursday, he will deliver their answer to the UK’s budget nightmare — a financial black hole that the administration is blaming on Ms Truss but which also goes back further than her short time in power.

He has warned of tax rises and spending cuts.

Jeremy Richard Streynsham Hunt was born in Kennington, London and is the oldest son of Admiral Nicholas Hunt.

He was educated at Charterhouse, a private school in Surrey, and then at Oxford where he studied philosophy, politics and economics.

He is married to Lucia and the couple have three children; Eleanor, Anna and Jack.

After university he was first an English teacher in Japan and then founded a business called Hotcourses, an educational guidance company for studying abroad.

Mr Hunt entered Parliament in 2005, becoming the MP for South-West Surrey, the constituency that is home to Charterhouse.

He was health secretary for six years from 2012, a long time in a high-profile department when turnover at the top is often far more rapid.

Before then he served as culture minister for two years. After health, he went to the foreign office, again for two years.

Despite his long record heading government departments he has not been able to win the party leadership.

In 2019 he was second to Boris Johnson in a vote of members — and one step away from the top job.

In July, he lost in the first round of voting of MPs.

When Ms Truss took control, she made Kwasi Kwarteng chancellor and there was no place for Mr Hunt. Their budget, and its poor reception, led to his comeback.

Updated: November 17, 2022, 1:52 PM
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