|Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs|
5 September 2012 - 11 August 2014
|Member of Parliament |
for Boston and Skegness
7 June 2001 - 30 March 2015
|Sir Richard Body|
|Born||12 April 1964|
Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England
|Spouse(s)||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 in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 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 6th 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, Simmons 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.