Jonathan Hill, Baron Hill of Oareford

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Hill of Oareford
CBE PC
Jonathan Hopkin Hill, Baron Hill of Oareford.jpg
European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union
Assumed office
1 November 2014
President Jean-Claude Juncker
Preceded by Michel Barnier (Internal Market and Services)
Leader of the House of Lords
In office
7 January 2013 – 15 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Deputy The Lord McNally
The Lord Wallace of Tankerness
Preceded by The Lord Strathclyde
Succeeded by The Baroness Stowell of Beeston
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
7 January 2013 – 15 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by The Lord Strathclyde
Succeeded by Oliver Letwin
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
for Schools
In office
13 May 2010 – 7 January 2013
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Diana Johnson
Succeeded by The Lord Nash
Personal details
Born (1960-07-24) 24 July 1960 (age 58)
London, United Kingdom
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Alexandra Nettelfield
Children 3
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge

Jonathan Hopkin Hill, Baron Hill of Oareford CBE PC (born 24 July 1960) is a British Conservative politician who, as of 1 November 2014, serves as a European Commissioner. Hill was Leader of the House of Lords and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from 2013 to 2014. Prior to that, he served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools from 2010 to 2013 in the Conservative-Lib Dem Government.

Hill, a former political lobbyist and PR consultant, was special adviser to Cabinet Minister Kenneth Clarke and an adviser to the Conservative Prime Minister John Major before being appointed a Government Minister in 2010. Prime Minister David Cameron put Hill's name forward, on 15 July 2014, to be the next British EU Commissioner, upon which Lord Hill resigned from the Cabinet. On 10 September 2014, President Juncker appointed Hill to a finance portfolio. He took office as Britain's representative in the Juncker Commission on 1 November 2014.

Early life and education

File:HighgateSchool.jpg
Highgate School
File:BEmpireIII.jpg
CBE insignia

Jonathan Hill was born in Highgate, London on 24 July 1960, the second son of Rowland Louis Hill and Paddy Marguerite née Henwood.[1][2]

He was educated at Highgate School, then an independent all-boys school in Highgate village,[3] North London, before going to Trinity College, Cambridge where he read History, graduating with the degree of Master of Arts (MA).

Career

Hill worked in the Conservative Research Department (1985–86), before becoming a Special Adviser to Kenneth Clarke at the Department of Employment, Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Health until 1989. After working for Lowe Bell Communications (1989–91), he joined the Number 10 Policy Unit (1991–92) and served as Political Secretary to PM John Major and Head of the Prime Minister's Political Office (1992–94) during the Maastricht Treaty negotiations.[4] He was appointed CBE in the 1995 New Year Honours List.[5]

Subsequently, Hill worked at Bell Pottinger Group from 1994 until 1998 as a senior consultant, before leaving to become a founding director of Quiller Consultants.[6]

On 27 May 2010, he was created a Life Peer as Baron Hill of Oareford, of Oareford, in the County of Somerset,[7] and was introduced to the House of Lords on the same day, taking office as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools in the Department for Education.[8] There are reports (contradicted by Hill) that in July 2012, he attempted, unsuccessfully, to resign as a Minister.[9][10]

Lord Hill succeeded Lord Strathclyde as Leader of the House of Lords, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Leader of the Conservative Party in the House of Lords in January 2013,[11] and was sworn of the Privy Council.

Nomination to EU Commission

In July 2014, Prime Minister David Cameron nominated Lord Hill to be UK European Commissioner under Jean-Claude Juncker, President-elect of the European Commission, aiming for a "top economic portfolio".[12] Cameron's nomination, rather than that of a better-known British politician, was regarded as controversial at that time since Hill had allegedly expressed initial reluctance to serve in Brussels; two former Conservative Party leaders, Michael Howard and William Hague, had both reportedly turned down this opportunity and it appeared David Cameron was keen to avoid triggering a potentially difficult by-election by nominating any other sitting Conservative MP.[13] Juncker stated after his election that female and high-profile candidates would be among his preferred choices,[14] prompting speculation by some that Cameron's nomination – of a virtually unknown male in European political circles, despite his competence – to be a protest against Juncker whose election he had opposed.[15]

On 10 September 2014 Lord Hill was announced as EU Commissioner-designate for the Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union portfolio in the forthcoming Juncker Commission. This newly created Directorate-General is tasked with assimilating existing EU expertise as well as responsibility for ensuring that the European Commission remains vigilant over the banking and financial sectors and remains pro-active in implementing new supervisory and regulatory rules accordingly,[16] save overseeing pay in the financial sector where Lord Hill and Elżbieta Bieńkowska will share joint responsibility.[17] He was one of four appointees who allegedly "struggled to impress" at their initial confirmation hearings before the European Parliament,[18] and was required to appear for a second hearing[19] — leading some hostile MEPs to start speculating that his appointment could be revoked in a reshuffle.[20] With some "diplomatic smoothing of the way by Juncker", Hill it is said "managed" to give satisfactory answers as to the UK's position regarding European banking union ,[21] together with a questionnaire on behalf of the UK Government as requested.[22][23]

Lord Hill secured the endorsement of sceptical MEPs at his second EU hearing in Brussels.[24]

Personal life

In 1988 Hill married Alexandra Jane,[25] daughter of Major John Nettelfield MC, a British Army officer who served with distinction in the Royal Artillery during World War II;[26] Lord and Lady Hill have a son and two daughters.

He holds shareholdings in Huntsworth plc, an international public relations company.[27][28] In January 2013, The Independent stated he reportedly held at least £50,000+ worth of shares in the company which bought Quiller in 2006 for £5.9m,[29] headed by Conservative parliamentarian Lord Chadlington.

Bibliography

Honours and styles of address

Honours

  • Coronet of a British Baron.svg Life Peer as Baron Hill of Oareford, of Oareford, in the County of Somerset (created 27 May 2010)
  • Order of the British Empire (Civil) Ribbon.png CBE (1995).

Styles of address

  • 1960-1995: Mr Jonathan H. Hill
  • 1995-2010: Mr Jonathan H. Hill CBE
  • 2010-2013: The Right Honourable The Lord Hill of Oareford CBE
  • 2013-: The Right Honourable The Lord Hill of Oareford CBE PC

See also

References

  1. www.freebmd.org.uk
  2. "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. www.highgatesociety.com
  4. www.bbc.co.uk
  5. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 53893. p. 9. 31 December 1994.
  6. www.quillerconsultants.com
  7. The London Gazette: no. 59436. p. 10157. 27 May 2010.
  8. www.publications.parliament.uk
  9. Independent
  10. Ross Hawkins (BBC)
  11. BBC: Lord Strathclyde resigns from Cabinet
  12. BBC: Lord Hill set to become UK's new EU Commissioner
  13. George Parker, Peter Spiegel (15 July 2014). "Lord Hill headed for Brussels". FT. Retrieved 26 August 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. www.dodsmonitoring.com
  15. Bruno Waterfield, and Steven Swinford (25 August 2014). "Britain denied key EU role for not picking a woman". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 August 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. www.europa.eu
  17. Barker, Alex (26 September 2014). "Bankers' pay withheld from Lord Hill's Brussels remit". ft.com. Retrieved 2 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. BBC: Lord Hill set to become UK's new EU Commissioner
  19. Barker, Alex (1 October 2014). "Hill fails to convince Brussels doubters". ft.com. Retrieved 2 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Spiegel, Peter; Oliver, Christian (2 October 2014). "Calls for reshuffle of European Commission grow louder". ft.com. Retrieved 2 October 2014. Asked for his position on Eurobonds, the jointly backed Eurozone debt instruments that were a hugely divisive issue during the sovereign debt crisis, Lord Hill disarmingly said: 'I have no particularly informed view on the subject'. The sight of Werner Langen, the senior German centre-right MEP who asked the eurobond question, shaking his head in disbelief was one of the few worrying signs for the would-be commissioner.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Fox, Benjamin (1 October 2014). "MEPs summon UK's Hill to second hearing". EUobserver. Retrieved 3 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Pop, Valentina (3 October 2014). "MEPs ask wobbly commissioners near-impossible questions". EUobserver. Retrieved 3 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. www.reuters.com
  24. www.nytimes.com
  25. www.thepeerage.com
  26. London Gazette, Issue 37961
  27. www.theguardian.com
  28. www.parliament.uk
  29. www.independent.co.uk

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Strathclyde
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Leader of the House of Lords

2013–2014
Succeeded by
The Baroness Stowell of Beeston
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Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

2013–2014
Succeeded by
Oliver Letwin
Preceded by
The Baroness Ashton of Upholland
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British European Commissioner

2014–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Michel Barnier
as European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services
European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union
2014–present
Party political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Strathclyde
Leader of the Conservative Party in the House of Lords
2013–2014
Succeeded by
The Baroness Stowell of Beeston