David Davies (Welsh politician)
|Chair of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee|
8 June 2010
|Preceded by||Dr Hywel Francis|
|Member of Parliament
5 May 2005
|Preceded by||Huw Edwards|
|Member of the Welsh Assembly
6 May 1999 – 3 May 2007
|Preceded by||Constituency Created|
|Succeeded by||Nick Ramsay|
27 July 1970 |
Newham, London, England
Davies was born in London and educated at Bassaleg School, Bassaleg, a suburb of Newport. He is the eldest child of Peter and Kathleen Davies. After leaving school in 1988 he worked for the British Steel Corporation and served with the Territorial Army. He worked for his family in their shipping company, Burrow Heath Ltd, before he entered politics. He was also a Special Constable with the British Transport Police for 9 years.
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.
He unsuccessfully contested the safe Labour seat of Bridgend at the 1997 general election, finishing 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, 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.
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.
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. In parliament he joined the Welsh Affairs Select Committee on his election. After the 2015 general election, he was returned unopposed the chairmanship of the Committee.
As his name sounds similar to David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, and 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. 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. 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.
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.
Davies was described by a rival candidate as being on the "far right of the Conservative Party", which he described as an attempt to smear him as "some sort of Nazi" for raising concerns over immigration. A critic of the Coalition, Davies once wrote a letter to his constituents apologising for "incompetence at the highest levels of government" and accusing David Cameron of failing to listen to the concerns of backbenchers and the people who elected them.
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". Davies said he was not bigoted, offering the unusual defence that he had once fought an amateur boxing match against the "Pink Pounder", an openly gay boxer.
On 5 February 2013 MP David Davies voted against in the House of Commons Second Reading vote on marriage equality in Britain. He was given a score of 21% on issues of importance to the LGBT community, by Stonewall.
In January 2010 he was criticised for referring to some communities as having imported "barbaric views on women". Commenting on a rape case, Davies claimed that upbringing could be a major factor although he saw it as "not an Islamic issue... let me be quite clear, and it's not a racial issue"
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 should be a requirement for Welsh civil and public servants to understand Welsh. 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'.
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”.
Davies was criticised in 2015 for using the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack to promote the Conservative Party election pledge to abolish the Human Rights Act 1998. Davies’ claim that “under current laws, including the Human Rights Act, anyone can come to the UK and make a claim for asylum”  was rebutted in The Guardian and two separate articles by Dr Mark Elliot at the University of Cambridge, and by legal practitioner Adam Wagner. Wagner commented that Davies “does not understand the law.” Wagner wrote that Davies was “wrong to say that 'Under current laws, including the Human Rights Act, anyone can come to the UK and make a claim for asylum.' The right to claim asylum is not contained in the Human Rights Act. It is in the 1951 Refugee Convention." 
In response to the 2015 refugee crisis Davies claimed that most of the people attempting to enter the UK via Calais were not refugees fleeing war, but were economic migrants "mostly young men, mostly with mobile phones, chancing their luck". Davies sparked further controversy in October 2016 with a tweet suggesting refugees to the UK should have dental checks to determine their age. The reaction to Davies' view was widely condemned, including by the British Dental Association which issued a statement describing the test as “inaccurate ... inappropriate and unethical”. The suggestion was also condemned by the British Association of Social Workers, and the test was also ruled out by the Home Office. When, in October 2016, the UK admitted 15 children from the camp with a legal right to travel to the UK, he asserted without foundation that all were actually adults lying about their ages. Davies appeared on ITV's Good Morning Britain on 19 October to defend dental checks, but became engaged in a heated exchange with Piers Morgan, who accused Davies of demonising refugee children, a charge which Davies denied.
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."
Davies has generally voted against laws to promote equality and human rights.
Special Constable with the British Transport Police
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."
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. 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.
He was asked to resign in 2015 after serving 9 years as a special constable due to new rules about police officers taking part in politics.
Nigel Evans trial
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."
Evans was acquitted.
Davies was criticised by The Daily Telegraph, for claiming £2,000 and paying it to a family business. Davies justified his actions in an interview. Davies later said he had done nothing wrong, 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.
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. 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.
Criticism of Velothon Wales
Davies strongly criticised the planning and organisation of the first Velothon Wales event to be run in Wales which passed through his constituency. This was due to the disruption to local businesses, and complaints from residents who would be trapped in their home all day.
Honours and awards
|Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal||2012|
- "BBC News AMs profile – David Davies". BBC. 12 May 1998. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- "MP David Davies steps down from cash-row boxing body". Wales Online. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- "About David". David Davies MP. Retrieved 7 February 2010.; although note that the campaign is misdated to 1999.
- "Jones warning over Tory victory". BBC News. 5 December 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- "About David". David Davies MP website. 5 December 2005. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- 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.
- "Winning candidates for select committee Chairs announced". UK Parliament. 18 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
- Brooke, Chris (28 October 2008). "Tory MP addresses National Black Police Association annual conference... and blasts THEM as racist". London: Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
- "MP defends police race criticism". BBC News. 29 October 2008. Retrieved 31 October 2008.
- "Addressing the National Black Police Association's annual conference in York". 13 August 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
- "Tory candidate 'Nazi smear' row". BBC News. 2 May 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- "Tory MP David Davies sorry for 'incompetent government'". BBC. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- "Conservative MP says most parents do not want gay children". The Guardian. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- '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.
- Hern, Alex (10 December 2012). "David Davies MP: I'm not bigoted, I punched a gay man". New Statesman. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
-  The House of Commons.2013. Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2012–13.
- "Stonewall 2010". Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- Kite, Melissa (14 January 2007). "Return of the spectre of Europe". Daily Telegraph. London, UK. Retrieved 19 May 2009.
- Monbiot, George (16 September 2013). "How much longer can MPs resist this flat-Earth love-in?". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
- "Row over MP's rape case comments". BBC News. 28 January 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- "Welsh language row erupts on BBC radio show". BBC News. Archived from the original on 30 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
- "MP Talks Immigration". David Davies MP for Monmouth. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
- Tory MP accuses Save the Children of being politically motivated, civilsociety.co.uk; accessed 8 May 2015.
- "Paris attacks show need to scrap Human Rights Act | David T C Davies MP". David-davies.org.uk. 8 January 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Kherbane, Rabah (9 February 2015). "Why every aspiring lawyer should study human rights law | Law". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Elliott, Mark (8 January 2015). "David Davies MP on the Paris shootings and the Human Rights Act: a short response – Professor Mark Elliott". Public Law for Everyone. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Afifi-Sabet, Keumars (9 January 2015). "Tory MP David Davies Blasted For Using Charlie Hedbo Attack To Call For End Of Human Rights Act". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Wagner, Adam (8 January 2015). "Paris attacks show need to scrap Human Rights Act, says Tory MP with no understanding of the Human Rights Act – UK Human Rights Blog". Ukhumanrightsblog.com. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- "MP: Most refugees are 'young men chancing their luck'". BBC News. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
- Wilkinson, Michael (19 October 2016). "Home Office rules out 'inaccurate, inappropriate and unethical' dental checks to verify age of Calais refugee children". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Merrick, Rob (19 October 2016). "Tory MP who demanded teeth checks for child refugees accused of adding to their trauma". The Independent. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- "Child migrant 'looks older than me', says David Davies". 19 October 2016 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- "Severn bridges must come back under state control, urges MP". Wales Online. 6 August 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- "David Davis MP, Monmouth". TheyWorkForYou. mySociety Limited. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- "Tory MP makes loaded gun arrest". BBC News. 11 May 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- "UK Riots: Fear was such that even police were ordered not to go out alone". The Commentator. 13 August 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- "Welsh MPs to attend UK riots debate in Parliament". BBC News. 10 August 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- "MPs asked to leave Special Constabulary", Police Oracle, 13 January 2015
- Shipton, Martin (7 May 2013). "MP Nigel Evans 'should not stand down' say friends stunned by allegations against deputy speaker".
- "MP Nigel Evans cleared of sexual assaults". 10 April 2014 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- "Welsh MP expense claims released". BBC News. 18 June 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- "MPs' Expenses: Right to Reply". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- "Many MPs 'considered resigning'". BBC News. 15 May 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- "MP David Davies volunteers to reveal his expenses". Wales Online. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- "Velothon Wales 'lied' over consultation says David Davies - BBC News". Bbc.co.uk. 10 June 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- David Davies MP official constituency website
- David Davies MP Conservative Party profile
- David Davies MP[dead link] Welsh Conservative Party profile
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 2010–present
- Contributions in Parliament during 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 at Hansard Archives
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
- Welsh Affairs Select Committee, House of Commons
|National Assembly for Wales|
|New title||Assembly Member for Monmouth
1999 – 2007
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Monmouth