The Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has claimed that he previously struggled to pay the bills and that he suffered a “daily grind just to stay alive” in a video promoting his candidacy for the Tory leadership – this despite Hunt being a multi-millionaire, privately educated former member of the Bullingdon club, the son of Sir Admiral Nicholas Hunt and Lady Hunt, and an actual relation of the Queen.
In his Tory leadership video released this morning, Hunt describes his experience of setting up his publishing company – Profile PR – 25 years ago, stating:
“Looking at that small office now reminds me that when you set out as an entrepreneur, you have big dreams – and then you suddenly find it’s a daily grind just to stay alive, to pay the bills, to pay your staff, to fight off your competitors. It’s not easy.”
But if you want to make it, you’ve got to show leadership, negotiating skills and confidence.
— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) 5 June 2019
However, Hunt’s attempt to portray himself as an ordinary person struggling to survive have come in for stinging criticism, not least because of his extraordinarily privileged background.
Yes, you’ll be unsurprised to hear that Mr Hunt didn’t exactly make it on his own:
- Jeremy Hunt is the eldest son of Admiral Sir Nicholas Hunt, who amongst many other high ranking roles went on to become an assistant to the Queen
- Jeremy Hunt was privately educated at the extraordinarily exclusive (and expensive) Charterhouse Boarding School
- Hunt then went on to study at Magdalen College, Oxford
- Hunt was a member of the infamous Bullingdon Club alongside David Cameron and Boris Johnson
- Hunt is related to both Oswald Mosley and the Queen
Jeremy Hunt video says that when he set out as an entrepreneur it was a “daily grind just to stay alive, just to pay the bills”
That’s Jeremy Hunt, son of Admiral Sir Nicholas Hunt and Lady Hunt, Charterhouse, PPE at Oxford, worth £14 million, richest member of the cabinet…
— Alex Wickham (@alexwickham) June 5, 2019
Jeremy Hunt endured “the daily grind just to stay alive”.
▪️Son of Admiral Sir Nicholas Hunt and Lady Hunt
▪️School at Charterhouse
▪️Worth £14 million
▪️Pulled himself out of the ghetto of his loft conversion office
He’s the British version of Dr Dre. https://t.co/e5P5dCtNaM
— James Melville (@JamesMelville) June 5, 2019
Furthermore, before finally encountering success with his PR company, Hunt was somehow financially insultated from three previous dismal business failures, including an attempt to export marmalade to Japan.
In 2017, Jeremy Hunt pocketed a £14.5m windfall from the sale of his 48% stake in a second business, Hot Courses – reportedly making him the richest member of the Cabinet.
Jeremy Hunt is completely right that setting up a business and making it a success is extremely hard. However, the fact he had the financial security to fail with three attempts before finally finding success is a privilege that no ordinary person could possibly rely upon.
Nobody can help their own background, but Hunt’s attempt to portray his own plight as in any way similar to the struggles of everyday people is both entirely ridiculous and extraordinary revealing.