Hilton in 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 Channel which debuted on 4 June 2017. He is a proponent of what he calls "positive populism".
He spent a year as a visiting scholar at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He is the co-founder of Crowdpac, a political data technology startup, and is a visiting scholar at the think tank Policy Exchange.
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. (The Hilton Budapest, sometimes referred to as the Hilton Budapest Westend or as Hilton Budapest City, bears the name of hotelier Conrad Hilton, but the hotel was built in 1977 and there is no known relationship between Steve Hilton and Conrad Hilton.) Steve 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.
Hilton presents a weekly show ''The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton'' on the Fox News Channel. He was criticised for failing to pull up his guest Ann Coulter after a false assertion that a recording of children crying were actors.
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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- "Crowdpac | Giving politics back to people". www.crowdpac.co.uk. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
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- Hilton, Steve (21 May 2015). More Human. WH Allen. ISBN 978-0-7535-5678-8.
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- Steve Hilton; Giles Gibbons (2002). Good business : your world needs you. New York: Texere. ISBN 1587991187.
- Hilton, Steve (1 November 2016), Elites can afford a Clinton presidency, working people cannot, Fox News, retrieved 28 January 2018
- Jesse Thomas. "A stand against Trumpism, a stand for democracy".
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- Cohen, Nick (23 June 2018). "Steve Hilton's silence speaks volumes about the hollow men of the right | Nick Cohen". the Guardian. Retrieved 24 June 2018.