Edward Davey

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The Right Honourable
Edward Davey
Edward Davey.jpg
Secretary of State for Energy and
Climate Change
Assumed office
3 February 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Chris Huhne
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs
In office
20 May 2010 – 3 February 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by The Lord Young of Norwood Green
Succeeded by Norman Lamb
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson
for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
In office
18 December 2007 – 12 May 2010
Leader Nick Clegg
Preceded by Michael Moore
Succeeded by Vacant
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson
for Trade and Industry
In office
3 March 2006 – 18 December 2007
Leader Menzies Campbell
Vince Cable (Acting)
Preceded by Norman Lamb
Succeeded by Susan Kramer
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson
for Education and Skills
In office
16 May 2005 – 3 March 2006
Leader Charles Kennedy
Menzies Campbell
Preceded by Phil Willis
Succeeded by Sarah Teather
Member of Parliament
for Kingston and Surbiton
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded by Norman Lamont

Richard Tracey
Majority 7,560 (13.2%)
Personal details
Born (1965-12-25) 25 December 1965 (age 49)
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
Political party Liberal Democrats
Spouse(s) Emily Gasson
Alma mater Jesus College, Oxford
Birkbeck, University of London
Website Official website

Edward Jonathan "Ed" Davey MP FRSA (born 25 December 1965) is a British Liberal Democrat politician and Member of Parliament (MP) for Kingston and Surbiton since 1997. He has served in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change since 2012. He was previously the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills with responsibility for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs.

Early life[edit]

Jesus College, Oxford

The son of a solicitor father and teacher mother,[1] Edward Davey was born in Annesley Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire.[2] His father John died when Davey was four years old, and his mother Nina (née Stanbrook) eleven years later, following which he was brought up by his mother's parents.[1] After attending senior school at the private independent Nottingham High School (in common with MPs Kenneth Clarke, Geoff Hoon, Ed Balls and James Morris) in the year above Ed Balls, where he was head boy in 1984,[3] he furthered his education at Jesus College, Oxford[2] where he was awarded a first class BA degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 1988.[1] Whilst at Oxford, he was also elected to the JCR presidency of Jesus College.[1]

As a teenager he worked at Pork Farms pork pie factory and at Boots. In 1989, he became an economics researcher for the Liberal Democrats[2] (principally to Alan Beith,[1] the party's Treasury spokesman), while studying at Birkbeck College, London[2] for a master's degree (MSc) in Economics.[1] During that time he proposed making the Bank of England independent,[citation needed] a policy enacted by the Labour Party following their election in May 1997. In 1993, he took up the position of management consultant with Omega Partners[4] until being elected.[2]

Member of Parliament[edit]

Edward Davey was elected to the House of Commons at his first attempt at the 1997 General Election where he defeated the sitting Conservative MP for the former constituency of Surbiton Richard Tracey with a majority of just 56 votes and has remained the MP there since.[3] He made his maiden speech on 6 June 1997, in which he gave his support for the setting up of the London Assembly, but against the idea of a directly elected Mayor of London, he also talked about the effects governmental cuts were having on the education delivery in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.[5]

Davey was responsible for introducing the Liberal Democrat policy of penny on income tax to pay for education in 1997. He was one of the contributors to the Orange Book (2004).[3]

In 2003 Davey introduced the clause which repealed the prohibition of "promotion of homosexuality" under Section 28 of the original Local Government Act 1988 [6]

Lib Dem spokesperson[edit]

Davey at Chatham House, 2012

In parliament Davey was given a job immediately by Paddy (now Lord) Ashdown and became the party's spokesman on Treasury Affairs, adding the post of Whip in 1998, and a third job to hold as the spokesman on London from 2000.

Davey was re-elected in the 2001 general election with an increased majority over former Conservative MP David Shaw. He entered the Charles Kennedy Liberal Democrat frontbench the same year by becoming Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the Treasury matters. In 2002 he became the Liberal Democrat Shadow of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. He was appointed Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Education and Skills in 2005 before becoming Liberal Democrats spokesperson for Trade and Industry in March 2006. In December 2006, he succeeded Norman Lamb as Chief of Staff to Sir Menzies Campbell, the party leader.[3] Davey is Chair of the party's Campaigns and Communications Committee. Following Nick Clegg's election as Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, Davey was awarded the foreign affairs brief, and continued to retain his chairmanship of the party's Campaigns and Communications Committee.[1]

On 26 February 2008, Davey was suspended from parliament for the day for ignoring a warning from the deputy speaker. He was protesting about the exclusion by the speaker of a Liberal Democrat motion to debate and vote on whether the UK should have a referendum on staying in the EU.[7]

At the 2009 Liberal Democrat conference, Davey caused controversy calling for dialogue with the Taliban, through declaring that it was 'time for tea with the Taliban',[8] a comment echoed by Malala Yousafzai four years later to the BBC.[9]

Ministerial career[edit]

Following the Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition Agreement, after the 2010 general election, Davey was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills[10][11] with responsibility for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs.[12][13]

On 3 February 2012, following the resignation of Chris Huhne due to his prosecution for perversion of the course of justice, Davey was appointed Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and appointed to the Privy Council on 8 February.[14] As Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Davey also became a member of the National Security Council (United Kingdom).

On 22 September 2012, Davey was reported as preparing his own challenge for party leadership in the event of Nick Clegg being deposed.[15]

On 31 October 2013, Edward Davey said to the House of Commons that he was determined to cut the time of switching energy supplier from "five weeks to 24 hours" (as justification of the Conservative/Liberal policy to switch energy supplier to save money, as opposed to Labour's plans for an energy price freeze).[16]

Personal life[edit]

In 1995, before his election as an MP, he won a Royal Humane Society bravery award and commendation from the Chief Constable of the British Transport Police for rescuing a woman who had fallen onto the railway line in the face of on oncoming train at Clapham Junction station.[1] In 2001 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

Davey married Emily Gasson (Lib Dem candidate in North Dorset) in summer 2005 and their first child, John Alban Davey, was born in December 2007. Their son has speech difficulties, leading to Davey's interest in speech therapy.[17] They live in Surbiton, London as Davey has since before his election to parliament in 1997.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Liberal Democrats: Edward Davey MP, Kingston & Surbiton". Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 4 October 2006. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Guardian Unlimited Politics". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 4 September 2006. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d "BBC News - Profile: Ed Davey". bbc.co.uk. 2012-02-03. Retrieved 2012-02-03. 
  4. ^ Omega partners - website
  5. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 6 June 1997 (pt 14)". Hansard. 6 July 1997. Retrieved 31 July 2006. 
  6. ^ Hansard http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmstand/a/st030213/am/30213s07.htm#end. Retrieved 23 March 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "Lib Dem ordered out of EU debate". BBC News. 26 February 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  8. ^ Ed Davey & Tea With the Taleban Iain Dale's Diary, 20 September 2009
  9. ^ "Malala: We must talk to the Taliban to get peace". BBC News. 7 October 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  10. ^ Government ministers and responsibilities Cabinet Office
  11. ^ Cameron's government: A guide to who's who BBC News, 30 May 2010
  12. ^ Edward Davey Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
  13. ^ Ed Davey is new employment minister Personnel Today, 20 May 2010
  14. ^ Court Circular for 8 February 2012.
  15. ^ Right-wingers 'in secret plot to replace Clegg' and Labour-Lib Dem Coalition being planned
  16. ^ "Energy market review: Ed Davey vows to speed up supplier-switching". BBC News. 31 October 2013. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Norman Lamont
as Member of Parliament for Kingston-upon-Thames
Member of Parliament
for Kingston and Surbiton

Preceded by
Richard Tracey
as Member of Parliament for Surbiton
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Young of Norwood Green
Undersecretary of State for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs
Succeeded by
Norman Lamb
Preceded by
Chris Huhne
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change