Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will unveil her spring budget on Wednesday, which is expected to include a range of measures to boost the UK economy as well as further tackling runaway inflation.
Mr Hunt is expected to increase his lifetime allowance into tax-free retirement savings from £1.07munder the “Back to Work” budget, he said, was intended to encourage some of the country’s richest people to stay in employment longer, while encouraging retirees to return to the office.
This is Mr Hunt’s second fiscal statement since he took office last September during the dying days of the Liz Truss administration. He retained the post of chancellor when Rishi Sunak took over as prime minister in October.
Who is Jeremy Hunt?
Mr Hunt is a respected name in the Conservative Party and has twice run unsuccessfully for the party’s leadership.
In his first attempt in 2019, he came closest, finishing second in the leader race, with Boris Johnson winning.
In the leadership race to replace Mr Johnson last summer, he dropped out early after failing to win enough votes from other MPs. He then supported Rishi Sunak before Mrs. Truss, who appointed him chancellor after the dismissal of Kwasi Kwarteng.
Steve Brine, the Tory MP and ally of Mr Hunt, who previously worked with him in the health department, told BBC Radio 4 IN THE AFTERNOON program at a time when Mr. Hunt was the “very” man who stabilized the ship after the chaos of the Mrs. Truss administration.
He called Mr Hunt “peace personified” and said the Conservative Party needed to unite.
“Ultimately, everyone – opponents or not – should want this government to succeed,” Brine said.
“AND [what] I know about Jeremy [is] that he wouldn’t lick his lips at the thought of becoming Chancellor right now. But this is a moment to be there for the country, and in my experience, the country has always come first, and now he will consider it his job.
“You should see Liz Truss as president and Jeremy Hunt as chief executive. And I think he’s going to be a very effective chief executive and like the new football manager that comes in, at the end of the day the fans are happy when the team wins.
What is his political background?
Mr. Hunt has served as Secretary for Culture, Health and Foreign Affairs since he was first elected to Parliament at the 2005 general election, succeeding Virginia Bottomley as Conservative MP for South West Surrey.
In his first major role in government, from 2005 to 2007, he was shadow minister for disabled people as a reward for supporting David Cameron – who was studying at Oxford University at the same time as him – in the Conservative leadership contest.
When the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government was formed in 2010, Hunt joined the cabinet as Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport.
This role brought him to the main stage when London hosted the 2012 Olympic Games, during which he worked closely with Mr Johnson, then Mayor of London.
However, in the same year, Mr. Hunt faced calls to resign from his role in BSkyB’s takeover bid. The then Labor Party leader, Ed Miliband, said Mr Hunt should drop his ties with Rupert Murdoch’s media empire while he considered the offer, which was later withdrawn. But he survived the row and was appointed health minister in September 2012.
Mr Hunt got his first major backlash when he was health secretary. He was in office during a period of slow investment in the NHS, which created problems at a time when demands on the NHS were increasing.
He has also come under criticism for how he is handling plans to introduce new contracts for junior doctors.
This prompted medics to take part in a series of strikes in 2016, leaving emergency care uncovered – for the first time in NHS history. A new contract was later imposed on junior doctors.
But Mr Hunt has secured an increase in funding for the NHS and also oversaw the introduction of an Ofsted-style system to assess hospitals and GP surgeries in England.
His long tenure as Health Secretary ended when he became Foreign Secretary in July 2018, after his predecessor, Mr Johnson, was forced out of Theresa May’s cabinet.
During his time as Foreign Secretary in 2018/19, Mr. Hunt tried to free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was being held in Iran on espionage charges, which she always denied.
After her final release in 2022, when Ms Truss was foreign secretary, Mr Hunt accused the UK of a “diplomatic failure” and said global cooperation was needed to “eliminate” states taking people hostage.
Left out of Johnson’s government, he was elected to chair an MPs committee that scrutinizes the performance of the NHS and government health policy in January 2020. He led that panel to question Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s former chief adviser, on the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
In June, Mr Hunt revealed he had cancer but has since recovered. He said at the time that “every member of his family” had the disease, and he had “a minor one”.
What was Hunt’s position on Brexit?
During the 2016 EU referendum, Hunt sided with Cameron as Remain, but then said he would support Leave.
After losing to Mr Johnson in the 2019 party leadership race, Mr Hunt said his campaign would “always be uphill” because he voted Remain and therefore fell behind many of his colleagues.
Where was Mr. Hunt educated?
Mr. Hunt was born in Kennington, central London, in 1966, but grew up in the town of Godalming, Surrey. He attended Charterhouse School where he became a prefect and reportedly excelled at cross-country running.
He was also the president of the school’s magic society, where he said he learned “a thorough art” that requires “confidence in presentation”.
At Oxford, where he obtained a first-class degree in philosophy, politics and economics, he made his name for the first time in the political sphere, serving as president of the Conservative Association.
What businesses does Mr. Hunt own?
Prior to his parliamentary career, the 55-year-old worked as an English teacher in Japan and was an entrepreneur – co-founder of the educational publisher Hotcourses.
When the business was sold in 2017, he made £14m, making him one of the UK’s richest politicians.
Mr Hunt said he would use the money to finance his campaign after he left politics.
Who is his wife?
Jeremy Hunt met his wife Lucia Guo in 2008 at a Hotcourses event in Warwick where she was working recruiting Chinese students for the university.
The couple got married a year later and now have three children together.
It turned out that Lucia’s nickname for her husband was “Big Rice” because her Chinese grandmother had a hard time pronouncing “Jeremy”, so she named him “Big Mi”, meaning “Big Rice”.
Who are their children?
Their son Jack was born in 2010 and daughter Anna two years later.
Their youngest child, Eleanor, was born in 2014.
Where does the family live?
The Hunts live in Pimlico in central London, part of Westminster.