David Jones (Clwyd West MP)

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The Right Honourable
David Jones
MP
David Jones (cropped).jpg
Minister of State for Europe
Assumed office
17 July 2016
Prime Minister Theresa May
Preceded by David Lidington
Secretary of State for Wales
In office
4 September 2012 – 14 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Cheryl Gillan
Succeeded by Stephen Crabb
Under Secretary of State for Wales
In office
11 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Wayne David
Succeeded by Stephen Crabb
Member of Parliament
for Clwyd West
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Gareth Thomas
Majority 6,730 (17.7%)
Member of the National Assembly
for North Wales
In office
10 September 2002 – 1 May 2003
Preceded by Rod Richards
Succeeded by Mark Isherwood
Personal details
Born (1952-03-22) 22 March 1952 (age 64)
London, England, UK
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Sara Jones
Alma mater University College London
University of Law
Religion Anglicanism[1]
Website Official website

David Ian Jones (born 22 March 1952) is a British Conservative Party politician and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Clwyd West. He was appointed Secretary of State for Wales on 4 September 2012,[2] following David Cameron's first Cabinet reshuffle, and removed from office in another reshuffle on 14 July 2014.[3] After Theresa May's appointment as Prime Minister, he was appointed as a Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union.[4]

He is the first Welsh secretary to have served as an Assembly Member,[5] and the first Conservative Welsh Secretary to represent a Welsh constituency since Nicholas Edwards (1979–87).[6]

Early life[edit]

David Jones was born in London to Welsh parents, and is a Welsh speaker.[7] His father was a British Army officer who served in northwest India and later ran pharmacies around the Wrexham area.[8]

He was educated at Ruabon Grammar School, University College London – where he was an active member of UCL Conservative Society – and Chester College of Law. He qualified as a solicitor in 1976, and was senior partner of a practice (David Jones & Company) based at Llandudno.

As a young solicitor he had worked in Ruthin alongside future Plaid Cymru Deputy Welsh First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones. He also worked in a Bangor practice led by former Labour MP for Conwy, Sir Elwyn Jones.

Political career[edit]

Welsh Assembly[edit]

In 2002, Jones unexpectedly became a member of the Welsh Assembly for the North Wales electoral region, filling the seat vacated by the ex-Welsh Office minister Rod Richards, who had resigned for health reasons.

Jones made it clear from the outset that he would not seek re-election to the Assembly and stepped down at the 2003 elections.

Parliament[edit]

At the 2005 general election, Jones was elected as MP for Clwyd West, defeating the sitting Labour Party MP Gareth Thomas by a majority of 133 votes.[9] This was his third candidacy for the Conservative Party in general elections; he had previously contested Conwy at the 1997 election and finished second to Labour's Christine Russell in the City of Chester in at the 2001 general election.

His maiden speech to the House of Commons was on 23 May 2005,[10] when he focused on the needs of his rural constituency and on crime. He also expressed concern about wind farms planned for his constituency (the proposed Gwynt y Mor wind farm[11] would be one of the biggest wind farms in the United Kingdom).

He was a member of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee from 2005 to 2010, and on 7 November 2006 was appointed Shadow Minister for Wales. He also takes a keen interest in law and order issues and was a member of the Conservative Homeland Security team.

He was a member of the Cornerstone Group between 2005 and 2007, according to WalesOnline.[12]

On 6 May 2010, Jones was re-elected as Member of Parliament for Clwyd West with a substantially increased majority of 6,419. He was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Wales Office on 13 May 2010.

A fluent Welsh language speaker, Jones also maintains an active blog.[13] He has been known to give up his activity on social media for Lent.[2] His constituency office is based in Colwyn Bay.[14]

Controversies[edit]

In 2013 it was reported that Jones took a chauffeur-driven Jaguar on a journey of about 100 metres.[15]

During an interview on ITV Wales Face to Face programme, discussing the recent Parliamentary vote on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill on 5 February, Jones said, "I was one of two cabinet ministers who did vote against it and it was for various reasons. Certainly in constituency terms, I felt that overwhelmingly the constituents of Clwyd West were opposed to the change. But also I regard marriage as an institution that has developed over many centuries, essentially for the provision of a warm and safe environment for the upbringing of children, which is clearly something that two same-sex partners can’t do. Which is not to say that I’m in any sense opposed to stable and committed same-sex partnerships".[16] The gay rights organisation Stonewall, which in 2010 had given Jones a score of 14% in favour of lesbian, gay and bisexual equality,[17] issued a statement expressing great sadness about his comments.[18]

In 2014 Jones was accused by fellow MP Guto Bebb of being co-author of the blog "Thoughts of Oscar".[19] Jones denied having anything to do with the blog, for which local newsagent Nigel Roberts claimed full responsibility. Richie Windmill, a leader of the "Victims of Oscar" action group, was arrested in October 2015, along with his wife, on suspicion of harassment, but were released without charge. They claimed the arrest was an act of revenge for their complaints about the blog.[20]

Jones was also revealed as the owner of a Twitter account in which the actions of prime minister David Cameron were heavily criticized in early 2016.[21]

Secretary of State for Wales[edit]

On 4 September 2012, Jones was promoted to Secretary of State for Wales,[2] and he was in consequence appointed to the Privy Council on 10 September.

Jones stated his top priorities would be to promote economic growth and deliver major infrastructure projects including a new nuclear power station at the Wylfa site on Anglesey, upgrades to rail lines in North Wales and improvements to the M4 motorway and the A55, and exploiting the full economic potential of the Holyhead and Milford Haven Waterway ports.[22]

Ongoing issues with the Welsh Government include a Supreme Court challenge by Her Majesty's Government to legislation passed in the Welsh Assembly about local government byelaws[23] and the Welsh government's objection to a Wales Office consultation on changing the boundaries of assembly constituencies.

Jones has described the Welsh Government's planning guideline Tan 8 as "an atrocity".[24]

Personal life[edit]

Jones is married to Sara, a former nurse. The couple have two sons.[2]

Jones is a supporter of Liverpool F.C.[2] Jones declared membership of the Freemasons, although he wrote in 2009 he had not been an active member for many years.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "...given that I'm an Anglican". Twitter post. 27 December 2010. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Livingstone, Tomos (4 September 2012). "David Jones: Profile of the new Welsh secretary". BBC Wales. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "David Jones sacked as Secretary of State for Wales". Daily Post (Liverpool). 14 July 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014
  4. ^ "New Junior Minister Appointments". order-order.co.uk. 17 July 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  5. ^ "David Jones named new Secretary of State for Wales". Northwalespioneer.co.uk. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "The only Jones in the Wales Office". BBC News. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "Welsh Secretary David Jones out after cabinet reshuffle". BBC News. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 27 November 2015
  8. ^ Williamson, David (8 September 2012). "Meet David Jones – the new Welsh Secretary". WalesOnline. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "UK general election results May 2005". Psr.keele.ac.uk. 5 May 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  10. ^ Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster (23 May 2005). "Hansard, 23 May 2005, Column 510 – Column 512". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "RWE npower renewables – Welcome to RWE npower renewables" (in German). Npower-renewables.com. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  12. ^ Shipton, Martin (17 September 2012). "Welsh Secretary David Jones under fire over Cornerstone links – Politics News – Politics – News". WalesOnline. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  13. ^ "David Jones, MP (blog)". Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  14. ^ "Q&A with new Welsh Secretary David Jones MP". Daily Post North Wales. 15 September 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "Welsh Secretary takes chauffeured Jaguar for 100 metre walk to Number 10". The Daily Telegraph. London. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  16. ^ "Cabinet minister: Gay couples cannot provide safe environment for children". BBC News. 15 February 2013. 
  17. ^ {http://www.stonewall.org.uk/> Stonewall 2010
  18. ^ "Welsh Secretary David Jones: Gay parents cannot provide a 'safe environment for the upbringing of children'". Pink News. London. 15 February 2013. 
  19. ^ "Two MPs, a private eye, a brief, a fraudster and a blog". BBC News. 10 September 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  20. ^ "Llandudno couple suing North Wales Police over 'wrongful arrest'". Daily Post. 20 May 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  21. ^ "Ex Tory cabinet member exposed as PM's Brexit Twitter troll". The Sun. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  22. ^ "A55, railway and Wylfa are priorities for new Welsh Secretary David Jones". Daily Post North Wales. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  23. ^ Powys, Betsan (31 July 2012). "Attorney general in court challenge to first Welsh Bill". BBC News. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  24. ^ "New Welsh Secretary David Jones pledges to focus on economic growth". WalesOnline. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

National Assembly for Wales
Preceded by
Rod Richards
Member of the National Assembly
for North Wales

2002–2003
Succeeded by
Mark Isherwood
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Gareth Thomas
Member of Parliament
for Clwyd West

2005–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Cheryl Gillan
Secretary of State for Wales
2012–2014
Succeeded by
Stephen Crabb
Preceded by
David Lidington
Minister of State for Europe
2016–present
Incumbent