David Davis

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This page is about David Davis, MP for Haltemprice and Howden. See also David Davies, MP for Monmouth.

David Davis is the Conservative MP for Haltemprice and Howden.

Entering Parliament in 1987 at age 38 for the Boothferry constituency, in his subsequent political career he held the positions of Conservative party chairman and Shadow Deputy Prime Minister. Between 2003 and 2008 he was the Shadow Home Secretary in the shadow cabinet, under both Michael Howard and David Cameron. Mr Davis had previously been a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party in 2001 and 2005, coming fourth and then second.

On 12 June 2008, in a surprise and controversial move, Mr Davis announced his intention to resign as an MP, and was immediately replaced as Shadow Home Secretary. This was in order to force a by-election in his seat, for which he intended to seek re-election by mounting a specific campaign designed to provoke wider public debate about the erosion of civil liberties in the United Kingdom. Following his formal resignation as an MP on 18 June 2008, he officially became the Conservative candidate in the resulting by-election and won it on 10 July 2008.



In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), David Davis voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 22 weeks against scientific and medical consensus which is currently 24 weeks[1]. After four separate parliamentary votes on varying time limits, the majority of MPs voted to keep the abortion time limit at 24 weeks, in keeping with scientific and medical consensus, hence no abortion amendments were added to the bill.

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 David Davis voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to have genetically related children who would not inherit the disease[2]. An October 2014 briefing report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe[3]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[4]. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.

Nomination of Nadine Dorries

In 2010, David Davis was one of the MPs to nominate Nadine Dorries for the position of Chair of the Health Select Committee.[5]

Hidden Pharmaceutical Trial Data

In December 2012 Mr Davis was one of six MPs to write a joint letter to the Public Accounts Committee to request action on hidden trial data and specifically Tamiflu.[6]

The same month Mr Davis asked the Secretary of State for Health a pair of Parliamentary questions:

(1) what steps he plans to take to increase the availability of clinical data for research.
(2) what discussions he has had with the European Medicines Agency and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency on whether clinical data should be published for the purposes of research.[7][8]

Energy and Climate Change

On an edition of BBC Question Time broadcast on 26th November 2009, David Davis said that he thought global warming was "going on" but was not entirely persuaded that it was caused by man, he was "80%" sure that it is. He said he resented people saying the debate was over, because scientific debate is never over. He indicated that he did question the policies intended to tackle climate change.[9][10]

Mr Davis wrote an 2009 op-ed in the Independent newspaper criticising global warming measures and disputing the consensus of climate scientists throughout the world:

"The row about whether global warming exists gets even more virulent. The case is not helped by the fact that the planet appears to have been cooling, not warming, in the last decade."[11]

This is at odds with a report published by climate scientists at the Met Office which stated that the ten warmest years on record have occurred since 1997.[11]

June 2013 on fracking: http://www.daviddavismp.com/david-davis-says-britain-needs-to-get-fracking/

June 2015 on wind farms: http://www.daviddavismp.com/david-davis-comments-on-the-governments-decision-to-end-subsidies-for-new-wind-farms/

Freedom of Speech

Blasphemy Law

On 6th May 2008, David Davis voted against a Lords amendment to abolish the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel[12]. The amendment was nonetheless passed by a vote of 378 to 57.

Libel Law Reform

In January 2010, David Davis signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law[13]. The motion noted that human rights activists, scientists, writers and journalists are currently prevented from publishing, and the public prevented from reading, matters of strong public interest due to the chilling effect of the law.

In March 2010, Mr Davis wrote an article for The Express titled "Libel Laws: Dangerous Enemies of Free Speech"[14]. He brings up the Simon Singh case, libel tourism and "superinjunctions", and he states that:

...we need to change our libel laws to reinstate free speech and at the same time make proper protection available to ordinary people who cannot afford the expensive legal predators that flourish in our libel courts. It is time to give the law back to those it is meant to protect rather than allow it to be appropriated by those with the resources to misuse it.

Response to Charlie Hebdo Killings

Mr Davis appeared on BBC Question Time in January 2015 shortly after the murders in the Charlie Hedbo offices in Paris. He touched on the issue of freedom of speech a number of times in his responses: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04xtl6z/question-time-08012015

Government Surveillance

2013 comments following revelations by Edward Snowden: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gh6MyCfAdjQ

University Tuition Fees

In December 2010 David Davis voted against increasing the upper limit on university tuition fees from £3290 per year to £9000 per year[15]. The proposed increase was a response to the Browne Report, published in October of that year, which had proposed a complete removal of any upper limit on fees, together with other measures (largely adopted by the coalition government) to ease the burden of repayment.

Death Penalty

In 2003 Mr Davis said he favoured the reintroduction of the death penalty into the UK for serial killers[16].

Same-Sex Marriage

David Davis voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at both its second reading in February 2013[17] and its third reading in May 2013[18].


  1. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmsctech/1045/104502.htm
  2. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=David_Davis
  3. http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2014-10-01_Mitochondrial_donation__an_introductory_briefing_note_-_final.pdf
  4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31063500
  5. http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/Committee-Commons-Nominees.pdf
  6. http://www.badscience.net/2012/12/mps-write-to-public-accounts-committee-to-request-action-on-hidden-trials-and-tamiflu/
  7. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm121218/text/121218w0003.htm#subhd_187
  8. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2012-12-18a.134170.h
  9. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p005c7sb
  10. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HgCw6URBF8#t=27m10s
  11. 11.0 11.1 http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/mehdi-hasan/2009/12/climate-change-david-davis
  12. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2008-05-06&number=170&display=allvotes
  13. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/423
  14. http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/163406/Libel-laws-Dangerous-enemies-of-free-speech
  15. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2010-12-09&number=150&mpn=David_Davis
  16. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/davis-backs-the-death-penalty-for-serial-killers-78773.html
  17. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=David_Davis
  18. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=David_Davis

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