Who is Liz Truss' husband Hugh O'Leary and what does he do?

Hugh O'Leary applauds as wife, Liz Truss, is declared the next leader of the Tory party. Credit: PA

Liz Truss will be the next to take up residence at 10 Downing Street after winning the Tory leadership contest.

She and her husband of 25 years and their two teenage daughters are expected to make the official Prime Minister's residence their home.

Hugh O’Leary has so far stayed out of the limelight and Ms Truss has typically preferred to keep her family out of the media.

But as the former foreign secretary prepares to be the next prime minister, more attention will inevitably focus on No 10’s newest inhabitants.

So, who is Hugh O’Leary?

Mr O’Leary grew up in Allerton, Liverpool, according to the Times, before his family moved to Heswall, Wirral.

He became a chartered accountant after studying econometrics and mathematical economics at the London School of Economics (LSE).

The Times quotes a former neighbour as describing him as “much more serious” than his two younger siblings and that “he was very earnest and very quiet, but a lovely boy.”

How did he meet Liz Truss?

The couple met at the 1997 Conservative Party conference, when she was 22 and just three years after she spoke as a Liberal Democrat in favour of abolishing the monarchy.

They married in 2000.

The couple spotted at the Commonwealth Games in 2022. Credit: PA

Ms Truss has previously talked about their first date, telling You magazine in 2019: “I invited him ice skating and he sprained his ankle.”

But they went through rocky times when her candidacy narrowly survived an attempt by traditionalist members of her local Tory association to deselect her after it emerged she had an affair with married fellow Tory MP Mark Field.

Their marriage survived and neither Ms Truss nor her husband have offered any significant comment on the affair since it went public.

He told the Daily Mail “I don’t want to talk about it”, while Ms Truss told You Magazine “I am really happily married” in 2019.

That same year, Ms Truss shared a rare picture of the two together on Instagram with a caption ‘love of my life’ to mark Valentine’s Day.

A rare picture of the two together, shared on Instagram. Credit: Instagram

Has Hugh O’Leary ever tried to get into politics?

He was unsuccessful in his attempt to enter politics at the 2002 local elections, when he stood for a seat on Greenwich council, losing in Greenwich West with 447 votes.

Reports suggest he has continued to play a role in the party and canvasses with Tories in the southeast London constituency.

What role have prime minister’s spouses had in the past?

Mr O’Leary’s apparent preference to remain in the background appears closely aligned with the approach taken by Denis Thatcher, husband of one of Ms Truss’ political heroes, Margaret Thatcher.

Theresa May described husband Philip as her “rock” during difficult times in her premiership, and the pair appeared together in an interview on the BBC’s the One Show in 2017.

Carrie Symonds, who became Carrie Johnson after marrying Boris Johnson, was often seen in public, sometimes with her first-born son, Wilfred, or younger daughter, Romy.

Mrs Johnson had been an active member of the Tory party before her marriage to Mr Johnson. In 2018, PR Week listed her in its top 10 figures in political communications, second only to No10 chief Robbie Gibb.

It remains to be seen what role, if any, Mr O'Leary will favour.

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