David Hallam

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David Hallam is a British Labour Party politician. He was Member of the European Parliament for the Herefordshire and Shropshire constituency in England, in the 1994–1999 European Parliament.

Hallam first stood for the European Parliament in 1984 for the Shropshire and Stafford constituency; he stood again in 1989 and was elected on revised boundaries in 1994[1] for what was widely held to be a safe Conservative seat.[2]

During his five year mandate Hallam was one of the Parliament’s most assiduous members, attending every session and recording votes on over 99% of all possible occasions.[3]

In the Parliament he served on the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, was a substitute member of the committees on budgets and regional policy, on the standing delegation to the Israeli Knesset, and the EU-Slovak joint parliamentary committee.[4]

Parliamentary Roles

Agriculture and Rural Development Committee

Hallam was on this committee for the whole of his mandate and drafted several reports or opinions on its behalf.

• Proposal amending Regulation establishing a support system for certain arable crops A4-0378/96;[5]

• The agri-monetary system for the single market A0261/97;[6]

• Proposal to establish an integrated administration and control system for certain community aid schemes A4-0019/94;[7]

• Proposal to amend the directive for the conservation of wild birds A4-0337/95;[8]

• The application of EU directives on homeopathic medicinal products A4-0378/98.[9]

Regional Policy Committee

Hallam was on this committee for the first half of his mandate and drafted three opinions on its behalf:

• Europe and the global information society (interim report) A4-0073/94[10] and (full report) A4-0244/96;[11]

• Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks A4-0336/95.[12]

Hallam’s constituency benefited from Objective 5B, Objective 2, and Leader II regional funds.

EU-Slovak Joint Parliamentary Committee

Hallam was a member on this then newly formed committee to assist in the accession of Slovakia to the European Union. In October 1996 he travelled with the committee to Bratislava which had a mandate from the European Parliament to challenge Prime Minister Meciar on his disturbing human rights violations. Hallam’s intervention made front page news in Slovakia.[13]

Delegation to Israel

Hallam visited Israel several times with this standing delegation. He made it clear that his top priority would be to encourage peace and trade. “Building trade links is a good investment because when the peace process is complete there are ambitious Israeli and Arab plans for the Jordan Basin to become an economic powerhouse for the entire region”.[14] His continued interest in Israel resurfaced in 2010 when the Methodist Church of which Hallam is a member and accredited local preacher published a report that Hallam considered to be unfair and misleading.[15]

Harold Williams

Shortly after his election Hallam took up the case of Harold “Ginger” Williams who had been convicted of the murder of Dorothy Margaret Davies in her house on Whitern Way Hereford in January 1977. Williams was convicted the following November and had been in prison ever since, refusing the terms of parole that would have meant him acknowledging his guilt.[16]

Hallam’s staff reviewed the available evidence and submitted a dossier to the Criminal Law Review Commission who then referred the case to the Court of Appeal.[17] Williams however died just weeks before the case was due to be heard. At the time Hallam commented “He was my first constituency case. He was also my last. I continued with it even after I had lost my seat. This has really broken our hearts .It’s terrible after more than 23 years in custody, with just weeks to go before his name could finally be cleared, that he has died. It is a tragedy”.[18]

Controversy

Clause IV

David Hallam was one of many Labour Party members who opposed Labour leader Tony Blair's re-writing of the common ownership Clause IV in the Labour Party constitution. He set out his views in a paper that was widely circulated within the Labour Party entitled Common Ownership and Social Justice [19] which drew heavily on Hallam’s Christian Socialist beliefs.[20] He clashed with Tony Blair himself when Blair met the European Parliamentary Labour Party.[21]

Introduction of the regional list system for electing British MEPs

In 1998 the Labour government introduced the "regional list" system for electing MEPs. In an affirmative ballot 95% of Labour Party members in his constituency endorsed Hallam’s selection.[22] However there is significant independent academic evidence that Labour’s selection procedure for the final list was heavily weighted specifically against those MEPs who had opposed the re-writing of Clause IV.[23] Hallam was placed in fifth place on Labour’s list but the party was only allocated three seats.

Personal life

Since leaving the European Parliament David Hallam has continued with his work as an unpaid Methodist preacher. He has earned his living in public relations and in 2003 published his first book "Eliza Asbury" which chronicled the life of the mother of Francis Asbury, the first Bishop of the Methodist Church in the United States.

References

  1. ^ Pollack, Anita, “Wreckers or builders? A history of Labour MEPs 1979-199” London 2009 page 150
  2. ^ "Tories shaken by Euro drama in Shropshire" Shropshire Star 13 June 1994
  3. ^ “100 per cent Hallam”, Ross Gazette 22 January 1998 and “Hallam tops table for Euro attendance” Shropshire Star 16 January 1998
  4. ^ http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/2169/DAVID+JOHN+ALFRED_HALLAM_home.html as at 17/09/2013.
  5. ^ http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A4-1996-0378&language=EN as at 17/09/2013
  6. ^ Epoque summary Brussells 12/07/1999
  7. ^ Epoque ibed
  8. ^ http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:51995AP0337:EN:HTML as at 17/09/2013
  9. ^ http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&reference=A4-1998-0378&language=CS as at 17/09/2013
  10. ^ http://sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CC0QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fbookshop.europa.eu%2Fen%2Fconference-g7-rapport-herman-pbCC4995005%2Fdownloads%2FCC-49-95-005-EN-C%2FCC4995005ENC_001.pdf%3Bpgid%3Dy8dIS7GUWMdSR0EAlMEUUsWb0000AolbD6Mo%3Bsid%3Dnh9jfpsJ_K9jf8p2hLH92fks03x9DDnK4k8%3D%3FFileName%3DCC4995005ENC_001.pdf%26SKU%3DCC4995005ENC_PDF%26CatalogueNumber%3DCC-49-95-005-EN-C&ei=nhA3UoXVNoPRhAfCpICwAQ&usg=AFQjCNEXLwnGWpl5bcw8HJsQVg20c9xdAw&sig2=aj5yLqloSLytEFJUAwo7wA&bvm=bv.52164340,d.ZG4 as at 17/09/2013.
  11. ^ http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&reference=A4-1996-0244&language=EN as at 17/09/2013
  12. ^ http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:51995AP0336:EN:HTML as at 17/09/2013
  13. ^ “Meciar si to u Hallama pokazil” Pravda Utorok 29 Oktobra 1996
  14. ^ “Euro MP going to Israel for talks” Shropshire Star 23 May 1997
  15. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/8038848/Methodist-preacher-to-sue-his-own-church-over-claim-of-anti-Israel-bias.html.
  16. ^ “Free Ginger campaign launched by Euro-MP” Hereford Times 9 October 1997
  17. ^ http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Perspective%3A+Ages+of+innocence%3F%3B+Harold+Williams+was+convicted+of...-a098309553
  18. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1369668/Murderer-who-refused-parole-dies-in-prison.html
  19. ^ http://www.thecitizen.org.uk/?p=149
  20. ^ See for example Evans, Stanley “Christian Socialism – A study outline and bibliography” London 1962
  21. ^ Pollack p 235, 238, 239
  22. ^ “Hallam is Labour MEP choice” Shropshire Star 4 August 1998
  23. ^ Wring, Baker and Seabright “Panelism in Action, Labour’s 1999 European Parliament Candidate Selection

External links