David Davies (Welsh politician)

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For similarly named British Conservative politician, see David Davis (English politician).
For other people named David Davies, see David Davies (disambiguation).
David Davies
MP
Daviddavies.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Monmouth
Incumbent
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Huw Edwards
Majority 10,425 (22.4%)
Member of the Welsh Assembly
for Monmouth
In office
6 May 1999 – 3 May 2007
Preceded by Constituency Created
Succeeded by Nick Ramsay
Personal details
Born (1970-07-27) 27 July 1970 (age 44)
Newham, London, England
Nationality Welsh
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Aliz Harnisfoger
Children 3
Religion Christian [1]
Website www.david-daviesmp.co.uk

David Thomas Charles Davies, MP (born 27 July 1970) is a British Conservative Party politician. He is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Monmouth in South Wales. Davies is also a Special Constable with British Transport Police.

Background[edit]

Davies was born in London and was educated at Bassaleg School, Bassaleg, a suburb of Newport; he was the first child of Peter and Kathleen Davies. After leaving school in 1988 he worked for the British Steel Corporation and served with the Territorial Army, before he went travelling in Asia and Australia, whilst on his travels he had many small jobs including picking grapes and tobacco and running a backpacker's hostel in Queensland. He worked for his family in their shipping company, Burrow Heath Ltd, before he entered politics.[2] He is also a Special Constable with the British Transport Police.

He married Aliz Harnisfoger, who is Hungarian, in October 2003 in Monmouth, and they have three children. Davies is a keen sportsman, he has fought in several charity boxing matches as 'The Tory Tornado' and is a former President of the Welsh Amateur Boxing Association.[3] A one time fanatical surfer, he can also still be found at Rest Bay in Porthcawl or Llantwit Major.

Political career[edit]

He unsuccessfully contested the safe Labour seat of Bridgend at the 1997 general election but finished in second place some 15,248 votes behind the sitting Labour MP Win Griffiths. As an opponent of the Welsh assembly who helped to set up the 'No' campaign in the devolution referendum,[4] Davies gained a higher profile and was selected as Conservative candidate for Monmouth. At the inaugural 1999 Welsh Assembly Election he won election to the National Assembly for Wales there.[2][5]

Davies speaks fluent Welsh after learning the language from scratch when he was elected to the National Assembly for Wales. He was awarded the accolade of Welsh Speaker of the Year and was the first AM to address the Welsh Language Society, Cymdeithas Yr Iaith Gymraeg, in Welsh.[6]

He was elected at the 2005 general election as member of the House of Commons for Monmouth, the same seat he holds in the Welsh Assembly. He defeated the sitting Labour MP Huw Edwards by 4,527 votes, and remains the MP for the constituency. On 18 May 2005 he made his maiden speech as an MP, using it to give a history of his constituency from Geoffrey of Monmouth forwards.[7] In parliament he joined the Welsh Affairs Select Committee on his election.

As his name sounds the same as David Davis, a candidate in the 2005 Conservative leadership contest, confusion could occur between the two in Westminster. Therefore, David Davies is referred to in the House of Commons in Westminster as David T.C. Davies. This has caused opposition MPs to refer to him in jest as Top Cat, a cartoon character who shares the same initials, T.C.. This confusion may have led to a mistake when the National Black Police Association invited Davies to speak at a conference in 2008; some sources suggest that this was a mistake and that they meant to invite his more prominent near-namesake, however the NBPA spokesman said that Davies had been invited because of his role on the Commons home affairs committee.[8] The Monmouth MP attracted criticism with a speech condemning the NBPA's race-based membership policy for not allowing white people interested in fighting racism to become full members.[8][9] The text of the speech on his website states that Keith Vaz asked him to attend the meeting after Vaz was unable to fulfil the engagement himself.[10]

Parliamentary career[edit]

In June 2010, Davies was appointed Chairman of the Welsh Affairs Committee. He is a former member of the Home Affairs Select Committee and is an advocate of tough measures to deal with criminality. Davies is also Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary China Group and a member of the All-Party Parliamentary British-German Group.

In January 2012, the Prime Minister David Cameron announced his appointment as a representative of the UK delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.[6]

Political views[edit]

Davies opposed his Government's plans to introduce same-sex marriage, describing them as "barking mad" due to the possibility that they may alienate the Conservative party's traditional supporters; expanding on these views in a television interview he also expressed the opinion that "most parents would prefer their children not to be gay".[11][12] On 5 February 2013 MP David Davies voted against in the House of Commons Second Reading vote on marriage equality in Britain.[13] He was given a score of 21% in favour of lesbian, gay and bisexual equality by Stonewall [14]

Davies has said "I support the sentiments of Better Off Out" which campaigns for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.[15]

Davies is sceptical of the theory of man-made global warming, [16] and was criticised in January 2010 for referring to some communities as "having barbaric views on women".[17] He has claimed that the Labour party think he is a Nazi.[18]

Davies, when referring to Active members of Al Qaeda and the Taliban living in this country and not being deported because of concerns about their human rights, said that if something horrible happens to them if they are sent home 'Personally I would have thought that would be a bonus rather than a reason for not sending them back' [19]

During a phone-in during the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2, Davies told a member of the public that she should join the BNP after she suggested it be a requirement for public servants in Wales to understand Welsh.[20] On his web page, he states his opinion 'that people who come to this country should learn English and be expected to work and to fit in with our rules, culture and traditions'.[21]

Davies is a critic of a few national charities - Save The Children, RSPCA and RSPCC - that he regards as behaving in a politically motivated way, and is quoted as saying that "this is part of a pattern of charities which focus more on lobbying the government on issues than on their causes." He is not the only MP to believe this as a recent study by nfpSynergy showed that the majority of MPs are wary of charities “being political”.[22]

Severn Bridges[edit]

Davies has said that he had been persuaded that continuing with a private operator was not in the interests of bridge users, and has called on his own Government to take state control of the two Severn bridges so motorists and businesses can enjoy VAT-free tolls on a permanent basis. Davies is quoted as saying: “In normal circumstances I would be happy for a private company to run the bridges, but it’s important to be pragmatic. It’s clear that if the bridges are run by a state body, motorists and businesses would not have to pay VAT at 20% to drive across. The crossings are vital for the Welsh economy, and it’s important to get them down as much as possible."[23]

Special Constable with the British Transport Police[edit]

Davies was sworn in as a Special Constable with the British Transport Police in March 2007. He has always been interested in government policing policy and saw an opportunity to get practical experience by joining the British Transport Police as a volunteer. Davies was on only his third patrol when he and a colleague saw a man acting suspiciously. When they arrested him for travel fraud, Davies searched him and found a handgun. He believes that his voluntary role "will give me front line experience that I can bring back to the House of Commons to help inform our debates on issues around crime and disorder."[24]

In August 2011 Davies wrote about his experiences out on riot duty and recalled the horrific reality that police were ordered not to go out alone in uniform.[25] Davies had to return from a short holiday for the recall of Parliament to discuss the riots across England; and also served on the front line, joining patrols in London that week in his role as a special constable. He called for the police to be encouraged to take tougher action during the riots.[26]

Nigel Evans Trial[edit]

During the trial of fellow Welsh MP Nigel Evans, who was also Davies' best man at his 2003 wedding, Davies defended his character, stating that Evans liked a drink and became jovial when intoxicated, unlike some people who have a dark side. Davies is quoted as saying "He’s been a good friend of mine for a lot of years. I am stunned by these allegations and find them impossible to believe."[27]

Evans was acquitted.[28]

Expenses[edit]

Davies was criticised by The Daily Telegraph, for claiming £2,000 and paying it to a family business.[29] Davies justified his actions in an interview.[30] Davies later said he had done nothing wrong,[31] and told BBC Wales that the work was done at short notice and at cost value, and neither he or any of his family made any profit from the work. He said he was now having to use a specialist company in London for the production of such material, one that was used by many other MPs, and the real cost was significantly higher.[29]

In May 2009, after expense scandal revelations were published by The Daily Telegraph in relation to other politicians, Davies became the first member of the Commons voluntarily to put all his expense claims in public for anybody to examine.[32] They were scrutinised by an independent panel that included a journalist, and a former Labour candidate among others, and Davies emerged unscathed from his decision to release all his expenses claims from the House of Commons.

Honours and awards[edit]

QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012

References[edit]

  1. ^ James Chapman (12 November 2013). "Tory MP David Davies demands men foot benefits bill for their babies | Mail Online". London: Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b David Davies "BBC News AMs profile". BBC. 12 May 1998. Retrieved 1 September 1999. 
  3. ^ "MP David Davies steps down from cash-row boxing body". Wales Online. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "About David". David Davies MP. Retrieved 7 February 2010. ; although note that the campaign is misdated to 1999.
  5. ^ "Jones warning over Tory victory". BBC News. 5 December 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "About David". David Davies MP website. 5 December 2005. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster (18 May 2005). "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 18 May 2005 (pt 14)". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Chris Brooke (28 October 2008). "Tory MP addresses National Black Police Association annual conference... and blasts THEM as racist | Mail Online". London: Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  9. ^ "MP defends police race criticism". BBC News. 29 October 2008. Retrieved 31 October 2008. 
  10. ^ "Addressing the National Black Police Association's annual conference in York". 13 August 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  11. ^ Conservative MP says most parents do not want gay children, The Guardian 10 December 2012 (retrieved 10 December 2012)
  12. ^ 'Most parents don't want their children to be gay': Tory MP sparks outrage as he attacks plans for same-sex marriage Daily Mail 10 December 2012 (retrieved 10 December 2012)
  13. ^ [1] The House of Commons.2013. Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2012–2013.
  14. ^ "Stonewall 2010". 
  15. ^ Kite, Melissa (14 January 2007). "Return of the spectre of Europe". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 19 May 2009. 
  16. ^ George Monbiot (16 September 2013). "How much longer can MPs resist this flat-Earth love-in?". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  17. ^ "Row over MP's rape case comments". BBC News. 28 January 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  18. ^ "Tory candidate 'Nazi smear' row". BBC News. 2 May 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  19. ^ "Tory MP says torture could be ‘a bonus’". Liberal Conspiracy. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  20. ^ "Welsh language row erupts on BBC radio show". BBC News. Retrieved 29 May 2012. [dead link]
  21. ^ "MP Talks Immigration". David Davies MP for Monmouth. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  22. ^ Tory MP accuses Save the Children of being politically motivated
  23. ^ "Severn bridges must come back under state control, urges MP". Wales Online. 6 August 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  24. ^ "Tory MP makes loaded gun arrest". BBC News. 11 May 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  25. ^ "UK Riots: Fear was such that even police were ordered not to go out alone". The Commentator. 13 August 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  26. ^ "Welsh MPs to attend UK riots debate in Parliament". BBC News. 10 August 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  27. ^ MP Nigel Evans 'should not stand down' as friends stunned by allegations - Wales Online
  28. ^ MP Nigel Evans cleared of sexual assaults
  29. ^ a b "Welsh MP expense claims released". BBC News. 18 June 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  30. ^ "http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/lifestyle/lighthairremoval/". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  31. ^ "Many MPs 'considered resigning'". BBC News. 15 May 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  32. ^ "MP David Davies volunteers to reveal his expenses". Wales Online. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 

External links[edit]

Offices held[edit]

National Assembly for Wales
New title Assembly Member for Monmouth
19992007
Succeeded by
Nick Ramsay
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Huw Edwards
Member of Parliament for Monmouth
2005–present
Incumbent