Greg Clark

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For other people named Gregory Clark, see Gregory Clark (disambiguation).
The Right Honourable
Greg Clark
MP
Greg Clark at the CBI Climate Change Summit 2008 cropped.jpg
Minister of State for Universities, Science & Cities
Incumbent
Assumed office
15 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by David Willetts
Minister of State for Cities and Constitution
Incumbent
Assumed office
7 October 2013
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Chloe Smith (Undersecretary of State for Political and Constitutional Reform)
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
In office
4 September 2012 – 7 October 2013
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Mark Hoban
Succeeded by Sajid Javid
Minister of State for Decentralisation
In office
13 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Nicholas Boles
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
In office
6 October 2008 – 11 May 2010
Leader David Cameron
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Ed Miliband
Member of Parliament
for Tunbridge Wells
Incumbent
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Archie Norman
Majority 15,576 (30.9%)
Personal details
Born (1967-08-28) 28 August 1967 (age 47)
Middlesbrough, England
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Helen Clark
Alma mater Magdalene College, Cambridge
London School of Economics
Website Official website

Gregory David Clark[1] (born 28 August 1967) is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tunbridge Wells since 2005. On 15 July 2014 he became Minister for Universities, Science and Cities.[2] Clark was previously Financial Secretary to the Treasury, the minister responsible for cities policy, and Minister of State in the Department for Communities and Local Government. He is described as an "economically liberal Conservative with a social conscience".[3]

Early life[edit]

Greg Clark was born in Middlesbrough and attended the local South Bank St Peter's Roman Catholic School. His father and grandfather were milkmen running the family business, John Clark and Sons,[4] while his mother worked at Sainsbury's.[5]

Clark read Economics at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He joined the Social Democratic Party, whilst at Cambridge, and was an executive member of its student wing, Social Democrat Youth and Students (SDYS). He then studied at the London School of Economics, where he was awarded his PhD in 1989.[6]

Career[edit]

Clark first worked as a business consultant before becoming special advisor to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Ian Lang, between 1996 and 1997. Subsequently, he was appointed the BBC's Controller, Commercial Policy and was Director of Policy for the Conservative Party from 2001 until his election to parliament in 2005. Between 2002 and 2005 he was also a councillor on Westminster City Council serving as Cabinet Member for Leisure and Lifelong Learning.

Member of Parliament[edit]

He was elected at the 2005 general election for the parliamentary constituency of Royal Tunbridge Wells after Archie Norman stood down as the MP. He was elected with a majority of 9,988 and made his maiden speech on 9 June 2005,[7] in which he spoke of the (then) forthcoming 400th anniversary of Dudley, Lord North's discovery of the Chalybeate spring and the foundation of Royal Tunbridge Wells, a town to which the royal prefix was added in 1909 by King Edward VII. He also noted with pride that Royal Tunbridge Wells had elected the country's first Jewish Member of Parliament.[8]

Shadow Cabinet[edit]

Clark was appointed to the front bench in a minor reshuffle in November 2006 by David Cameron, becoming Shadow Minister for Charities, Voluntary Bodies and Social Enterprise. Shortly after his appointment he made headlines by saying the Conservative party needed to pay less attention to the social thinking of Winston Churchill, and more to that of columnist on The Guardian, Polly Toynbee.[3]

In 2007, Clark called for increased use of homeopathic and other pseudoscience-based treatments by the NHS[9] and campaigned to save a homeopathic hospital in West Kent.[10] In October 2008, Clark was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet, shadowing the new government position of Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

Minister of State for Decentralisation[edit]

Clark was appointed a Minister of State in the Department for Communities and Local Government from May 2010, with responsibility for overseeing decentralisation, a key policy of the Liberal-Conservative coalition. In this role he called for the Churches and other faith communities to send him their ideas for new social innovations for all,[11] and made a major speech on "turning government upside down" jointly to the think tanks Centre Forum and Policy Exchange. He was accused of hypocrisy, having staunchly opposed house-building while in opposition, while threatening to impose it as a government minister.[12] However, since announcing the NPPF[clarification needed] he has been praised by heritage NGOs[clarification needed] and Simon Jenkins of the National Trust. His post as Minister for Cities also makes him a Minister at the Department of Business.

From July 2011, he was responsible for cities policy since July 2011 as Minister for Cities.[13] In this role he tried to promote the urban economies of the North, West and Midlands.[14][third-party source needed]

Financial Secretary to the Treasury[edit]

In a cabinet reshuffle in September 2012, Clark was appointed Financial Secretary to the Treasury, while retaining the ministerial brief responsible for cities policy.

Minister for Universities, Science and Cities[edit]

On 15 July 2014 Clark was appointed to the role of Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, replacing David Willetts who was generally praised for his service in the post.[2][15] The new portfolio combines the universities and science brief held by Willetts with the cities policy already handled by Clark. He will attend meetings of the Cabinet, but will not be a voting Cabinet member.[16]

His appointment was met with concerns about securing future funding for universities[17] and questions over his public support for homoeopathic treatments.[15]

Personal life[edit]

He and his wife Helen have three children. They live in Royal Tunbridge Wells.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "List of members returned to serve in parliament at the general election 2010". London Gazette. 13 May 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Michael Gove moved to chief whip in cabinet reshuffle". BBC News. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "A Conservative Who’s Who". Financial Times. 10 May 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "Greg Clark MP – From Middlesbrough to Minister for Giving Power to the People". Platform 10. 20 April 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Paul Goodman interviews Greg Clark". Conservative Home. 1 April 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Greg Clark: Global warming is not on our back burner". The Independent. 4 October 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "Greg Clark maiden speech". theyworkforyou.com. 9 June 2005. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "NHS Homeopathic Hospitals". Parliament.uk. House of Commons of the United Kingdom. 28 March 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "Postcode lottery for homeopathic treatment". kentnews.co.uk. Kent News. 12 October 2007. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  11. ^ Clark, Greg (30 July 2010). "It’s time for Government to stop getting in your way". Catholic Herald. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  12. ^ Countryside (24 August 2011). "Rural Britain prepares for the bulldozers". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  13. ^ McCann, Kate (20 July 2011). "Greg Clark appointed minister for cities". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  14. ^ Clark, Greg (9 December 2011). "A genuine New Deal is on offer for cities which take up our challenge". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Ghosh, Pallab (15 July 2014). "Science minister has tough job to follow". BBC News. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  16. ^ Watt, Nicholas; wintour, Patrick (15 July 2014). "Michael Gove demoted to chief whip as Cameron shows no sentimentality". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  17. ^ Shaw, Claire; Ratcliffe, Rebecca (15 July 2014). "Greg Clark appointed universities and science minister". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 

External links[edit]

News articles
Video clips
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Archie Norman
Member of Parliament
for Tunbridge Wells

2005–present
Incumbent
Political offices
New office Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
2008–2010
Succeeded by
Ed Miliband
Minister of State for Decentralisation
2010–2012
Succeeded by
Nicholas Boles
Preceded by
Mark Hoban
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
2012–2013
Succeeded by
Sajid Javid
Preceded by
Chloe Smith
as Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Political and Constitutional Reform
Minister of State for Cities and Constitution
2013–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
David Willetts
Minister of State for Universities and Science
2014–present