|Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Africa|
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Asia and the Pacific
5 September 2012 – 11 August 2014
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Preceded by||Henry Bellingham|
|Succeeded by||James Duddridge|
|Member of Parliament |
for Boston and Skegness
7 June 2001 – 30 March 2015
|Preceded by||Sir Richard Body|
|Succeeded by||Matt Warman|
|Born||12 April 1964|
Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England
|Spouse||Lizbeth Hanomancin Garcia|
|Alma mater||Trent Polytechnic|
Mark Jonathon Mortlock Simmonds (born 12 April 1964) is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Boston and Skegness in Lincolnshire, and was first elected in 2001, succeeding Sir Richard Body. He was re-elected in 2005 with a greatly increased majority before his subsequent re-election in 2010 – more than doubling his 2005 majority.
In September 2012 he was appointed to the Government as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Asia and the Pacific. On 11 August 2014 he resigned this post and confirmed that he would step down as an MP at the 2015 general election.
In October 2015, he was appointed non-executive director of the AIM-listed fertiliser company, African Potash. On 6 January 2020, Simmonds was appointed a non-executive director of the AIM-listed African oil exploration company, LEKOIL, a week before the company announced that it had been the victim of a US$184m fraud.
Born in Worksop, Simmonds went to Worksop College, then Trent Polytechnic, where he obtained a BSc (Hons) degree in urban estate surveying in 1986. He became an associate of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in 1987. He worked as a surveyor for Savills from 1986 to 1988 and was a partner in Strutt & Parker from 1988 to 1996. He was a director of Hillier Parker from 1997 to 1999 and a chairman of Mortlock Simmonds Brown from 1999 until becoming an MP for Boston and Skegness.
He contested the Ashfield seat in 1997. Simmonds was promoted to Shadow Health Minister in 2007.
On 5 September 2012, he was appointed as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In this role, he was also responsible for the British Overseas Territories. He resigned on 11 August 2014, claiming that he cannot support his family in London on £120k + expenses. According to the Telegraph, although Simmonds legitimately received over £500k from expenses since 2001, changes in the rules following the 2009 United Kingdom parliamentary expenses scandal meant he was no longer able to claim mortgage relief on a house in Putney. He subsequently sold the house at a profit of £537k and bought Swineshead Abbey but said it was impossible for "a government minister with children to have a normal family life."
Following his decision not to stand again, Simmonds defended charging expenses to the taxpayer purported to total over £10,000 on hoardings and local radio, advertising the role of the MP and promoting democracy in line with current IPSA guidelines. He claimed the money was necessary to communicate with constituents. The political campaigning website 38 Degrees set up a petition calling for him to pay it back.
He married Lizbeth Hanomancin Garcia in December 1994 in London, and they have two daughters (born March 1999 and October 2000) and a son (born April 2002). He lives in his constituency in Swineshead in a house on the former site of Swineshead Abbey.
- "Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Asia and the Pacific)". GOV.UK. Retrieved 19 October 2022.
- Watt, Nicholas. "Africa minister Mark Simmonds resigns | Politics". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 15 April 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- "African Potash appoints former politician to board". MINING.COM. 26 October 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
- Millard, Rachel (13 January 2020). "Ex-minister hired by oil explorer Lekoil left red-faced over fears it has been scammed". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
- Osborne, Alistair (14 January 2020). "Pouring oil on some troubled waters". The Times. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
- "MSBL | Retail Specialists in Property | Mark Simmonds". www.msblproperty.com. Archived from the original on 24 June 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
- "Who we are - our Ministers" Archived 6 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine. FCO (Official website). Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- "New O.T. Minister for Cayman". Cayman 27. 6 September 2012. Archived from the original on 14 April 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- Christopher Hope (11 August 2014). "Minister quits because £120,000 salary and expenses is not enough to support his family in London". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 11 August 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Holly Watt (11 August 2014). "Mark Simmonds: Expenses system gave Foreign Office minister a £500,000 lift". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 13 August 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Steven Swinford, and Holly Watt (12 August 2014). "How taxpayers helped fund £1m home of minister who can't live on MP's pay". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 13 August 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- "Nine Tory MPs who did not back Syria strike received Assad's hospitality The Guardian September 2013
- "MP Mark Simmonds hits out at 'ridiculous' story that he has claimed more than £10,0000 in advertising back on expenses". 4 March 2015. Archived from the original on 8 March 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
- "£10,000? Mark Simmonds, pay it back". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
- "Orders for 10 Dec 2014" (PDF). Privy Council Office. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 November 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
- "MP apologises for failing to mention interest in health firm". BBC News. BBC. 21 February 2012. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- Official website
- Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: Mark Simmonds MP
- TheyWorkForYou.com - Mark Simmonds MP
- Video: Open Road - Mark Simmonds interview, hosted by YouTube. Mark Simmonds talks about welfare reforms proposed by the coalition Government.