Jonathan Hill, Baron Hill of Oareford

Jonathan Hopkin Hill, Baron Hill of Oareford, CBE, PC (born 24 July 1960) is a British Conservative politician and former European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union. 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.

The Lord Hill of Oareford

Hill in 2015
European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union
In office
1 November 2014  15 July 2016
PresidentJean-Claude Juncker
Preceded byMichel Barnier
Succeeded byValdis Dombrovskis
Leader of the House of Lords
In office
7 January 2013  15 July 2014
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byThe Lord Strathclyde
Succeeded byThe Baroness Stowell of Beeston
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
7 January 2013  15 July 2014
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byThe Lord Strathclyde
Succeeded byOliver Letwin
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools
In office
13 May 2010  7 January 2013
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byDiana Johnson
Succeeded byThe Lord Nash
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
27 May 2010
On leave of absence (2014–2016)
Life Peerage
Personal details
Jonathan Hopkin Hill

(1960-07-24) 24 July 1960 (age 60)
London, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Alexandra Nettelfield
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge

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 as the European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union.

He took office as Britain's representative in the Juncker Commission on 1 November 2014 but announced his resignation on 25 June 2016 following the referendum in the UK to leave the EU, leaving office on 15 July.[1][2][3]

Early life and education

Highgate School

Jonathan Hill was born in Cockfosters, London, on 24 July 1960, the youngest child of Rowland Louis Hill and Paddy Marguerite née Henwood.[4][5] He was educated at Highgate School, then an independent all-boys school in Highgate village,[6] North London, before going to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read History, graduating with the degree of Master of Arts (MA).


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.[7] He was appointed CBE in the 1995 New Year Honours List.[8]

Subsequently, Hill worked at Bell Pottinger from 1994 until 1998 as a senior consultant, before leaving to become a founding director of Quiller Consultants.[9]

On 27 May 2010, he was created a life peer as Baron Hill of Oareford, of Oareford, in the County of Somerset,[10] 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.[11] There are reports (contradicted by Hill) that in July 2012, he attempted, unsuccessfully, to resign as a Minister.[12][13]

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,[14] 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".[15] 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.[16] Juncker stated after his election that female and high-profile candidates would be among his preferred choices,[17] 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.[18]

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,[19] save overseeing pay in the financial sector where Lord Hill and Elżbieta Bieńkowska will share joint responsibility.[20] He was one of four appointees who allegedly "struggled to impress" at their initial confirmation hearings before the European Parliament,[21] and was required to appear for a second hearing[22] — leading some hostile MEPs to start speculating that his appointment could be revoked in a reshuffle.[23] 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.[24][25][26]

Lord Hill secured the endorsement of sceptical MEPs at his second EU hearing in Brussels.[27]

Lord Hill announced his resignation from his post of European Commissioner on 25 June 2016, to take effect on 15 July 2016, following the result of the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union.[1][2][3]

Personal life

In 1988 Hill married Alexandra Jane,[citation needed] daughter of Major John Nettelfield MC, a British Army officer who served with distinction in the Royal Artillery during World War II;[28] Lord and Lady Hill have a son and two daughters.

He holds shareholdings in Huntsworth plc, an international public relations company.[29][30] 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,[31] headed by Conservative parliamentarian Lord Chadlington.


  • Too Close to Call: John Major, Power and Politics in No.10; by Sarah Hogg & Jonathan Hill, Little Brown (1995), ISBN 0-316-87716-6


  • Life Peer as Baron Hill of Oareford, of Oareford, in the County of Somerset (created 27 May 2010)
  • CBE (1995)


  1. "EU referendum: UK's EU commissioner Lord Hill to resign".
  2. "Statement on the Decision of Commissioner Lord Hill to resign from the European Commission". Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  3. "Dombrovskis takes over British commissioner's job". LSM. 25 June 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  4. "FreeBMD Entry Info".
  5. "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS.
  6. "The Highgate Society – 21st century home in conservation area". Archived from the original on 24 January 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  7. "Lord Hill set to become UK's new EU Commissioner".
  8. "No. 53893". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1994. p. 9.
  9. "Quiller".
  10. "No. 59436". The London Gazette. 27 May 2010. p. 10157.
  11. "House of Lords Business".
  12. "Jonathan Hill: Grey eminence who has made Brussels see red". 3 October 2014.
  13. Ross Hawkins (BBC)[permanent dead link]
  14. BBC: Lord Strathclyde resigns from Cabinet
  15. BBC: Lord Hill set to become UK's new EU Commissioner
  16. George Parker, Peter Spiegel (15 July 2014). "Lord Hill headed for Brussels". Financial Times. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  18. Bruno Waterfield, and Steven Swinford (25 August 2014). "Britain denied key EU role for not picking a woman". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  19. "European Commission – PRESS RELEASES – Press release – The Juncker Commission: A strong and experienced team standing for change".
  20. Barker, Alex (26 September 2014). "Bankers' pay withheld from Lord Hill's Brussels remit". Financial Times. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  21. BBC: Lord Hill set to become UK's new EU Commissioner
  22. Barker, Alex (1 October 2014). "Hill fails to convince Brussels doubters". Financial Times. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  23. Spiegel, Peter; Oliver, Christian (2 October 2014). "Calls for reshuffle of European Commission grow louder". Financial Times. 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.
  24. Fox, Benjamin (1 October 2014). "MEPs summon UK's Hill to second hearing". EUobserver. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  25. Pop, Valentina (3 October 2014). "MEPs ask wobbly commissioners near-impossible questions". EUobserver. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  26. "Juncker's team likely to survive EU power struggle". Reuters. 5 October 2014.
  27. "Jonathan Hill Poised to Win Approval as Official Overseeing E.U. Financial Sector". The New York Times. 9 October 2014.
  28. London Gazette, Issue 37961
  29. Mason, Rowena (15 July 2014). "Lord Hill, the former lobbyist pitching for the Tories in Europe".
  30. "Lord Hill of Oareford".
  31. "Promotion to Leader of the Lords just stresses Lord Hill's Government". 7 January 2013.