Biography of Philip Hammond, Leading Conservative Politician and Secretary of Defense, UK
Phillip Hammond is the archetype Tory Member of Parliament of the British House of Commons. He is educated, erudite and rich. His wealth is estimated at anything between £7.5mand £9m. He is also one of the important members of the conservative party and presently holds the position of Secretary of defense in the British cabinet.
Philip Hammond’s early life did not show that he would rise to a high position in politics. He had a mundane early life after his birth in Epping, Essex in 1955. He was the son of a civil engineer. He had his schooling at Brookfield Junior School, Shenfield School in Brentwood, Essex, and went to University College, Oxford, for his degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. Hammond’s schooling and college was uneventful and in 1977 he joined Speywood Laboratories.
His rise in the corporate world was meteoric and he became a director of Speywood Medical Limited in 1981.
His work on an automatic electrocardiograph won him further laurels. He rise in the corporate world continued unabated and from 1984, he served as a director in Castle mead Ltd. This continued till 1993 when he became a partner in CMA Consultants and followed up by becoming, a director in Castle mead Homes in 1994. His name rose further as he had a stint with the World Bank and was also a consultant to the Government of Malawi.
Philip had earlier evinced interest in the Conservative party from 1979. With his background he was welcomed into the Conservative fold and in 1994 he was asked to contest the Newham North East by-election. Unfortunately he lost to the Labour representative Stephen Timms by 11,818 votes and thus suffered a resounding defeat. This was a baptism by fire and in the next round of elections in 1997 he won the new Surrey seat of Runnymede and Weybridge. Phillip has not looked back after that and has continuously been a Member of the House of Commons since that year.
MP and Rise in Tory Ranks
In the 16 years he has been a member of parliament, Philip has risen up in the Tory ranks. He was a shadow minister when the Tories were out of power. In fact right from 1998 he was promoted to the front bench of the Tories by William Hague as spokesperson on health.
With the Conservatives back to power, Hammond was appointed Secretary of State for Transport on 14 October 2010. His stint was pretty short as Transport secretary and on 14 October 2011 he was appointed Secretary of Defense.
Secretary of Defence
His taking over as the Secretary of Defense was a momentous episode in British history. The last 2 years have been the most crucial in his life as he presided over the cut in the British armed forces strength.
Cutting the Armed Forces and Expenditure
This decision he took in a clinical manner to cover a deficit of £ 38 billion. He also realized that the UK was no longer a global power like during the days of the British Empire and the defense requirements were now a minuscule of earlier days. The cut in the British armed strength coincided with a downgrading of senior posts in the Armed forces by 25%. He has also announced his aim of privatizing the MOD, which could lead to another 10,000 job cuts. All these steps did not go down well the forces themselves.
Managing London Olympics
During this period a feather in his cap was managing the London Olympics with 5000 soldiers, when the original contractor G4 backed out. He has also opened service in submarines to women. But the fact remains that Hammond has presided over the Defense ministry at a time when England has had a new perception of its defence.
Hammond’s views are not without controversy and in January 2013 on a visit to University of London Royal Holloway’s Egham campus in Surrey he compared same-sex-marriage to incest.
Hammond’s personal life is without controversy and he is happily married to Susan since 1991 and has 3 children. In the years to come the public may hear more about Philip Hammond as he breaches the top echelons of the Tory leadership. Who knows what the future has in store for him? He may well become the leader of the Tory party. People should brace up for it.