Stanley Clinton-Davis, Baron Clinton-Davis

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Stanley Clinton Clinton-Davis, Baron Clinton-Davis, PC (born 6 December 1928), born Stanley Clinton Davis, is a British Labour politician, former European Commissioner, former minister and solicitor. He served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Hackney Central (1970–1983), and was a minister in the Labour governments of Prime Ministers Harold Wilson, James Callaghan and Tony Blair. He was European Commissioner in the Delors Commission (1985–1989). In 1990, he became a Life Peer as Baron Clinton-Davis of Hackney, in the London Borough of Hackney, sitting on the Labour benches in the House of Lords, and changed his name to Stanley Clinton-Davis by deed poll.[1]

Early life[edit]

Davis was born in Hackney on 6 December 1928, the only child of Jewish parents Sidney and Lilly Davis. He was educated at Hackney Downs School, Mercers' School, and King's College London, where he graduated in Law in 1950. He later became a solicitor.

Early career[edit]

Davis became interested in Labour politics from an early age. He joined the Labour Party at the age of 15 and formed the Labour Society at King’s College London. He was a member of the executive council of the National Association of Labour Student Organisations (1948–50).

In 1959, Davis was elected as a councillor for the London Borough of Hackney. He served as a councillor until 1971 and was Chairman of Social Services. He was Mayor of Hackney in 1968–1969.

House of Commons[edit]

Davis first stood as Parliamentary Candidate for the Conservative held constituency of Portsmouth Langstone in the 1955 General Election and for the marginal constituency of Yarmouth in the 1959 and 1964 General Elections.

Davis was elected to the House of Commons in the 1970 General Election as MP for Hackney Central. He served as MP for the constituency until 1983, when the constituency was abolished due to boundary changes.


Davis' first ministerial post, which he held from 1974 until 1979, was as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Companies, Aviation and Shipping in the governments of Prime Ministers Harold Wilson and James Callaghan.


Following the Conservative Party’s victory in the 1979 General Election, Davis remained on the Labour front bench as the Opposition Spokesman on Trade, Prices and Consumer Protection (1979–81) and Foreign Affairs (1981–83).

European Commission[edit]

In 1985, Davis was appointed to serve as European Commissioner alongside Lord Cockfield in the Delors Commission. He was the European Commissioner for Transport, the Environment and Nuclear Safety until 1989.

In 1990, Clinton-Davis was awarded the Grand Cross Order of King Leopold II of Belgium for services to the European Community.

Clinton-Davis was a member of the United Kingdom Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Western European Union (1999–2001).

House of Lords[edit]

Clinton-Davis was appointed to the House of Lords in May 1990. He was Opposition Spokesman for Transport (1990–97) and Supporting Spokesperson for Trade and Industry (1990–96) and Foreign Affairs (1990–97).

Following the Labour victory in the 1997 General Election, Prime Minister Tony Blair decided to use the experience of a handful of former Labour ministers at the commencement of his New Labour project. Clinton-Davis was appointed as Minister of State for Trade, serving in the Department of Trade and Industry until 1998.

Clinton-Davis was appointed and sworn in as a member of the Privy Council in 1998.

Other offices and honorary positions[edit]

Clinton-Davis has held a number of senior positions, including Chairman (1989–96) and later President (1996–97) of the British Refugee Council. Clinton-Davis was Chairman (1980–84, 1989–2001) and later President (2001) of the Advisory Committee on Protection of the Sea (ACOPS). He was Vice-President of the Society of Labour Lawyers (1987), Vice-President of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, Honorary Member of the Executive Council of Justice and President of the Association of Municipal Authorities. Clinton-Davis was Chairman of the Packaging Standards Council (1993–97).

From 1980–2011, Clinton-Davis was President of the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) and is now Honorary Life President. He was also President of the UK Pilots Association (Marine).

Clinton-Davis was a member (1989–1998) and later Chairman (1999–2004) of the Sasakawa Environment Prize Selection Committee. The award later came under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Clinton-Davis is an honorary fellow of the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, a fellow of King’s College London and an honorary fellow of Queen Mary University of London.

Legal career[edit]

Clinton-Davis has over 50 years of service as a solicitor. He became a solicitor in November 1953 and was a founding partner of Clintons, becoming head of its Hackney branch, Clinton Davis & Co.

Clinton-Davis has also worked as Consultant on European Law and Affairs for S. J. Berwin & Co (1989–97, 1998–2003).

Jewish affairs[edit]

Clinton-Davis is a prominent advocate for the Jewish community and has spoken in Parliament on numerous occasions on issues affecting the Jewish community and Israel. He was Vice President of the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism and has been a supporter of Labour Friends of Israel. He was an executive member of the Institute of Jewish Affairs (1993–97). He is a former director of The Jewish Chronicle and former member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Personal life[edit]

Clinton-Davis lives in North London with his wife Frances Jane (née Lucas). They married in 1954 and have four children and many grandchildren. Clinton-Davis counts among his hobbies football, cricket and golf. He is a supporter of Arsenal Football Club and Leyton Orient Football Club.



External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Herbert Butler
Member of Parliament for Hackney Central
constituency abolished
Political offices
Preceded by
Karl-Heinz Narjes (environment & consumer protection)
Giorgios Contogeorgis (transport)
European Commissioner for Environment, consumer protection and transport
Succeeded by
Carlo Ripa di Meana (environment)
Grigoris Varfis (consumer protection) Karel Van Miert (transport)