David Evans (British politician)

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For other people named David Evans, see David Evans (disambiguation).

David John Evans (23 April 1935 – 21 October 2008) was an English business executive and Conservative politician.

Biography[edit]

Born in Edmonton in London,[1] Evans came from a working-class background and attended Tottenham Technical College. As a youngster he showed promise as a footballer and cricketer and played for Aston Villa, although without making any first-team appearances, between 1950 and 1954. An opening batsman, he also played for Gloucestershire CCC and Warwickshire CCC at cricket, although, again, without making any first-team appearances.

In 1956 Evans married Janice Masters in Edmonton. In 1960 Evans borrowed £500 to found his own industrial cleaning company, called Exclusive Office Cleaning, which later became Brengreen Holdings. He sold this for £32 million in 1986. Four years later, in 1990, he formed Broadreach, another industrial cleaning company, of which he was chairman for 12 years.

From November 1984 to 15 June 1989, Evans was the chairman of Luton Town Football Club. The club played in the Football League First Division during Evans' tenure as chairman, and he presided over a controversial membership-only scheme for fans under which only members were allowed to attend matches at the club's home ground and away supporters were banned from the stadium. Evans served on the club's board of directors from 1976 to 22 May 1990 when he resigned.

Evans was also chairman of the Lord's Taverners, along with being a member of the Finance and Administration Sub-Committee (1981–1986) and a member of the General Committee (1985–86) of Middlesex CCC. As a cricketer, he represented Hertfordshire in the Minor Counties Championship between 1967 and 1968, made two Gillette Cup appearances for the team in 1969, scoring ten runs on his debut but a duck in his second match.[2] He also made two appearances for Club Cricket Conference, the first in 1973 and the second in 1974.[citation needed]

Evans represented Welwyn Hatfield as the Conservative Member of Parliament from 1987, until he lost his seat at the 1997 general election.

Shortly before losing his seat, in early March 1997, he attracted controversy over unguarded remarks in an interview by sixth-formers at Stanborough School for a school magazine in which he referred to his opponent as a "single girl" (she was 42 years old at the time) with "bastard children",[3] and claimed that the Birmingham Six were guilty and had "killed hundreds" before being caught, as well as making remarks considered racist, such as asking how the sixth-formers would feel if their daughter was raped by "some black bastard".[4]

The Six won substantial damages from Evans in July 1998, who thereafter apologised for what he had said.[5][6]

After losing his seat in Parliament, he continued to manage his industrial cleaning business, the Broadreach Group, which sold in May 2002 for around £17 million.[6]

David Evans died in Boston, USA, on 21 October 2008, of pulmonary fibrosis.[3]

Quotes[edit]

  • "Scarcely any Guardian or Independent article involving David Evans, former Tory MP for Welwyn and Hatfield, failed to mention his car-salesman's accent, a sound to chill the blood of any liberal—it seemed the incarnation of Thatcherite brutalism."[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pearce, Edward (24 October 2008). "Obituary: David Evans". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 9 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Players: David Evans". CricketArchive. Archived from the original on 9 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Obituaries: David Evans: businessman and MP for Welwyn Hatfield". The Times. 23 October 2008. Archived from the original on 5 May 2009. 
  4. ^ Brown, Colin (5 March 1997). "Major slaps down any Tory attempt to play race card". The Independent. Archived from the original on 9 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Former MP says sorry to Six over 'guilty' remark.". The Birmingham Post (Birmingham, England). 10 July 1998. 
  6. ^ a b "Obituraies: David Evans". The Telegraph. 22 October 2008. Archived from the original on 9 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Mullan, John (17 June 1999). "Lost Voices". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 9 July 2014. 


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Christopher Murphy
Member of Parliament for Welwyn Hatfield
19871997
Succeeded by
Melanie Johnson