Steve Hilton, 2015
|Born||25 August 1969|
|Alma mater||New College, Oxford|
Steve Hilton (born 25 August 1969) is a British political adviser and commentator. He is a former director of strategy for David Cameron, who was Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom from 2010 to 2016. Hilton hosts The Next Revolution, a weekly show for the Fox News which debuted on 4 June 2017. He is a proponent of what he calls "positive populism".
Hilton is the son of Hungarian immigrants whose original surname was Hircsák (which some sources spell "Hircksac"), who fled their home during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. They came to Britain, initially claiming asylum, and anglicised their name to Hilton. Hilton's father, István, had been goaltender for the Hungarian national ice hockey team and was considered one of the top ice hockey players in Europe in the 1930s. After arriving in Britain, his parents initially worked in catering at Heathrow Airport. They divorced when Steve was five years old leading to what he has described as a struggle and great financial hardship; his mother worked in a shoe store to earn the little money they had, and the two lived in a cold, damp basement apartment.
After graduating, Hilton worked at Conservative Central Office, where he came to know David Cameron and Rachel Whetstone, his future wife and Senior Vice-President of Policy and Communications for Uber. He liaised with the party's advertising firm, Saatchi and Saatchi, and was praised by Maurice Saatchi, who remarked, "No one reminds me as much of me when young as Steve." During this time Hilton bought the "New Labour, New Danger" demon eyes poster campaign for the Conservative's pre-general election campaign in 1996, which won an award from the advertising industry's Campaign magazine at the beginning of 1997. The Conservatives went on to experience their worst election defeat for more than half a century, with some journalists speculating that the poster contrasted unfavourably with Labour's more positive campaign. In 2005, Hilton lost out to future Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove in the selection process for the Surrey Heath constituency.
Hilton talked of the need to "replace" the traditionally minded grassroots membership of the Conservative Party, which he saw as preventing the party from embracing a more metropolitan attitude on social issues.
It is alleged that Hilton said "I voted Green" after the Labour landslide of 2001, but since then he has worked with Cameron to re-brand the Conservative Party as green and progressive. According to The Economist Hilton "remains appallingly understood". There were reports that Hilton's 'blue sky thinking' caused conflict in Whitehall and, according to Nicholas Watt of The Guardian, Liberal Democrats around deputy prime minister Nick Clegg considered him to be a "refreshing but wacky thinker".
In March 2012, Downing Street announced that Hilton would be a "visiting scholar" at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies for a year. His last memo concerned the advocacy of severe cuts in the number of civil servants in the United Kingdom and further welfare cuts.
His book More Human was published in May 2015. It advocates smaller, human-scale organisations and is critical of large governmental and business, including factory farms and banks. With co-author Giles Gibbons, he wrote Good business : your world needs you, published in 2002.
He spent a year as a visiting fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.
Hilton presents a weekly show The Next Revolution on Fox News. He was criticised for failing to pull up his guest Ann Coulter after a false assertion that a recording of children crying were actors.
In March 2019, Hilton claimed that CNN, MSNBC, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper as well as Democratic congress members Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell were the "real agents of Putin" for playing a role in "dividing" the United States over Trump's ties with Russia.
Hilton is married to Rachel Whetstone, a former aide (political secretary) to Michael Howard, former head of communications at Google, and former senior vice-president of policy and communications of Uber. The couple were godparents to David Cameron's son, Ivan, who died at the age of six.
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- Odone, Cristina (6 September 2011). "Why every baby needs a power godparent" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.