Jeremy Hunt, the British Foreign Secretary, has formally launched his bid for the leadership of the Tory party. Hunt was endorsed by leading Brexiteer Penny Mordaunt; Hunt said that he was the best man for the job because he had the best chance of delivering Brexit. He said, “This extremely serious moment calls for an experienced, serious leader. We need the art of tough negotiation, not the art of empty rhetoric. And faced with bad choices, we need a Prime Minister who can negotiate some better choices. As an entrepreneur and cabinet minister who has spent his whole life doing negotiations, I believe I am that candidate.”
Hunt served for years as the chief of Britain’s embattled National Health Service, or NHS. He is a “born again Brexiter,” who initially opposed Britain’s plans to leave the European Union but changed his mind. He is also a multi-millionaire who has been sharply criticized for failing to declare all of his assets, including seven luxury apartments.
Hunt is married to Lucia Hunt, who originally is from Xian, China. The couple has three children.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Lucia is 11 Years Younger Than Jeremy. They Met Through His Education Business, Hotcourses.
Jeremy Hunt is one of the richest politicians in the UK, largely thanks to the online education business, Hotcourses, that he founded. Hunt got the idea for Hotcourses after a stint teaching English in Japan. The company has made him millions of dollars — and it also introduced him to his wife.
Hunt met Lucia Guo at a Hotcourses event in Warwick, England, in 2008. At the time, Jeremy was 41 and Lucia was 30. She was working for the University of Warwick, helping to recruit Chinese students to come to the university.
The two hit it off immediately and Hunt “allowed work and pleasure to mix for a moment”, by his own account. He asked Lucia for her email address. The couple got married a year later, in 2009.
2. Lucia Partnered With Jeremy In a Real Estate Business Which Later Came Under Intense Criticism
Lucia and Jeremy reportedly formed a real estate business together called Mare Pond Properties Limited. The company was formed in order to buy up seven luxury properties in the Ocean Village development in Southampton.
But Jeremy came under fire later for failing to report the business, as was required by British law. Politicians are required to disclose any possible conflict of interest, including business holdings.
Jeremy maintained that it was an “honest mistake” and blamed it on an administrative error. But many newspapers in Britain wondered why it took him six months to fix the error.
3. Lucia and Jeremy Had a Traditional Chinese Wedding Ceremony in Xian
Jeremy proposed to Lucia while the pair were taking a walk near his parents’ home, in the village of Shere, in Surrey.
But Jeremy flew all the way to Xian — with Lucia in tow — to formally ask her father for permission to marry Lucia. Lucia had to come along because Jeremy didn’t speak a word of Mandarin; she acted as translator.
The two married in a traditional Chiense wedding ceremony.
4. Lucia and Jeremy Have Three Children. Jeremy Says His “Half-Chinese” Children Will Suffer if Britain Doesn’t Curb Immigration
Lucia and Jeremy have three children: Jack, Anna, and Eleanor.
While he was head of Britain’s National Health Service, Hunt told a call-in radio show that he was concerned that his “half-Chinese” children would experience discrimination unless the UK restricted immigration to the country. His reasoning was that as more immigrants come into the UK, anger against immigrants will increase. And, Hunt reasoned, anybody who looks different — like his own children — will suffer a backlash from anti-immgrant activists.
‘I’d like to make one general point about immigration,’ he said. ‘My wife is Chinese and she obviously lives with me in London.
‘My children are half Chinese and I do not want them to grow up in a country where people look at immigrants and say it’s difficult for me to access NHS services because of people like you.’
5. A Member of Parliament Was Forced to Apologize After A Tweet Asking Why Lucia Moved to England
Helen Goodman, a member of parliament for the Labour party, faced a lot of criticism after her she tweeted “If China is so great, why did Jeremy Hunt’s wife come to England?”
The post generated widespread condemnation and calls of support for Lucia, Jeremy, and their children. Goodman took the tweet down and put up a new tweet apologizing.
Goodman, who represents Bishop Auckland, has come under fire for her cranky tweets in the past. She has tweeted, for example, that immigrants working at construction sites should be able to speak English. She has also called attractive female members of parliament “puppets” who are interesting only for their clothes.