He served in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change from 2012 to 2015, having previously served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, with responsibility for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs, since 2010.
The son of a solicitor father and teacher mother, Edward Davey was born in Annesley Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire. 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. 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, he furthered his education at Jesus College, Oxford where he was awarded a first class BA degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 1988. Whilst at Oxford, he was also elected to the JCR presidency of Jesus College.
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 (principally to Alan Beith, the party's Treasury spokesman), while studying at Birkbeck College, London for a master's degree (MSc) in Economics. During that time he proposed making the Bank of England independent, 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 until being elected.
Member of Parliament
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 remained the MP there for 18 years. 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.
Lib Dem spokesperson
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. 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.
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.
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', a comment echoed by Malala Yousafzai four years later to the BBC.
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 with responsibility for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs.
Although he had signed a pre-election pledge to vote against any rise in university tuition fees and to abolish them altogether within six years, six months after the coalition came to power he voted in favour of tripling them to £9,000 a year. In the run-up to the 2015 general election, he pledged to block any attempt by a future Labour government to reduce tuition fees to £6,000.
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. As Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Davey also became a member of the National Security Council (United Kingdom).
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).
At the 2015 general election, Davey was defeated by Conservative candidate James Berry by 2,834 votes after the Liberal Democrat vote fell by over 15%. Kingston & Surbiton was one of 6 Liberal Democrat losses in London and one of 49 in the UK as the party were reduced to just eight seats.
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. 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. They live in Surbiton, London as Davey has since before his election to parliament in 1997. Emily has the number two position on the Lib Dem London-wide candidate list for the 2016 London Assembly elections.
- Making MPs Work For Our Money: Reforming Parliament's Role In Budget Scrutiny by Edward Davey, 2000, Centre for Reform, ISBN 1-902622-21-9
- "Liberalism and localism", Chapter 2 in The Orange Book: Reclaiming Liberalism by David Laws and Paul Marshall (contributions et al.), 2004, Profile Books, ISBN 1-86197-797-2
- "Liberal Democrats: Edward Davey MP, Kingston & Surbiton". Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 4 October 2006.
- "Guardian Unlimited Politics". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 4 September 2006.[dead link]
- "BBC News - Profile: Ed Davey". bbc.co.uk. 2012-02-03. Retrieved 2012-02-03.
- Omega partners - website
- "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 6 June 1997 (pt 14)". Hansard. 6 July 1997. Retrieved 31 July 2006.
- "House of Commons Standing Committee A (pt 7)". parliament.uk.
- "Lib Dem ordered out of EU debate". BBC News. 26 February 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- Ed Davey & Tea With the Taleban Iain Dale's Diary, 20 September 2009
- "Malala: We must talk to the Taliban to get peace". BBC News. 7 October 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
- Government ministers and responsibilities Cabinet Office
- Cameron's government: A guide to who's who BBC News, 30 May 2010
- Edward Davey Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
- Ed Davey is new employment minister Personnel Today, 20 May 2010
- Tuition fees – hardly a Christmas present - EdwardDavey.com, 18 November 2010
- Labour pledge to cut tuition fees is stupid, Lib Dem Ed Davey claims - The Guardian, 1 March 2015
- Lib Dems say they would block Labour from cutting tuition fees in any future coalition - The Independent, 1 March 2015
- Court Circular for 8 February 2012.
- "Nick Clegg is facing a leadership challenge as problems continue to mount". Mail Online.
- "Energy market review: Ed Davey vows to speed up supplier-switching". BBC News. 31 October 2013.
- PRESS RELEASE – KINGSTON MPS AND Your Healthcare JOIN FORCES
- Edward Davey MP Official site
- Profile at the Liberal Democrats
- Edward Davey MP (BIS archive)
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005
- Current session contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
- Profile at BBC News Democracy Live
- Articles authored at Journalisted
- Works by or about Ed Davey in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Profile: Edward Davey BBC News profile 17 October 2007
- Debrett's People of Today
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament
for Kingston and Surbiton
The Lord Young of Norwood Green
|Undersecretary of State for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs
|Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change