Jeremy Hunt Profile: The Culture Secretary's Highs And Lows

PA  |  Posted: 25/04/2012 08:47 Updated: 25/04/2012 08:48   PA

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt enjoyed a rapid rise through Conservative party ranks and was often tipped as a potential future leader.

The popular, camera-friendly Tory made the leap from newly-elected backbencher to Secretary of State in just five years.

Widely-considered a safe pair of hands, the former public relations man was pushed forward during general election campaigning as David Cameron attempted to detoxify the Tory party image.

But, despite a reputation for competence, his tenure has not been gaffe free.

By his own admission, the biggest of those was when he suggested hooliganism was behind the Hillsborough Stadium disaster that saw 96 people killed in a crush at an FA Cup match in 1989. He quickly publicly apologised to Liverpool FC fans and those affected by the disaster.

He was also left red-faced when, as the Cabinet minister responsible for sport, he congratulated Rory McIlroy on winning the wrong golf tournament.

The South West Surrey MP, who conceded sport was the area of his brief he knew least about on taking office, wrote about the young Ulsterman's "amazing" victory on Twitter but managed to mix up the US Open with the US Masters - the competition in which the Ulsterman spectacularly blew a winning chance earlier in the year.

The son of Admiral Sir Nicholas Hunt, he enjoyed a privileged upbringing that saw him educated at the prestigious Charterhouse school.

He went on to read philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford, where he was a contemporary of David Cameron and Boris Johnson.

Mr Hunt later set up educational publishing firm Hotcourses, which is reported to have made him one of the wealthiest members of the Cabinet.

He also formed a charity to help Aids orphans in Africa and lists his political interests as education, international development, philanthropy, Japan and Africa. Personal hobbies include Latin music and dance.
He lives in Farnham, Surrey, and London with his wife, Lucia Guo, son and daughter.

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Filed by Felicity A Morse  |