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Geraint Davies (Labour politician)

Geraint Davies

Official portrait of Geraint Davies crop 2.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Swansea West
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded byAlan Williams
Majority10,598 (28.5%)
Member of Parliament
for Croydon Central
In office
1 May 1997 – 5 May 2005
Preceded byPaul Beresford
Succeeded byAndrew Pelling
Personal details
Born (1960-05-03) 3 May 1960 (age 58)
NationalityBritish
Political partyLabour Co-operative
Spouse(s)Dr. Vanessa Fry
Alma materJesus College, Oxford
Websitewww.geraintdavies.org.uk

Geraint Richard Davies MP is a British politician who is the Labour Co-operative Member of Parliament (MP) for Swansea West. Previously, Davies was the Labour Party MP for Croydon Central from 1997 to 2005. He had also served as Leader of Croydon Borough Council.

Personal life

Davies was born on 3 May 1960.[1] His family comes from west Wales; his civil servant father is from Aberystwyth and his mother's family are from Swansea. He was brought up in Cardiff where he attended Llanishen High School, before studying Mathematics then Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Jesus College, Oxford; while at Oxford he was Junior Common Room President.[2] He married Dr. Vanessa Fry in September 1991 and they now live in Swansea.

Professional background

Davies joined Unilever as a Group Product Manager in 1982, and later Colgate-Palmolive Ltd. as Marketing Manager before starting his own companies including Pure Crete Ltd. and Equity Creative Ltd. He became active in the Labour Party, being Assistant Secretary for Croydon North East Labour Party and Chair of Croydon Central Constituency Labour Party, and was a member of the Association of Scientific, Technical and Managerial Staffs,[3] and later the Manufacturing, Science and Finance union.[4] before joining the GMB in 1985. He has been a member of the Co-operative Party since 1984.

Political career

Local politics

Davies was elected to Croydon Borough Council in 1986 for New Addington ward, which he retained at the 1990 and 1994. Davies became Director of Pure Crete Ltd, described as a 'Green tour operator',[4] in 1989.[2]

When Labour won control of Croydon Borough Council in the 1994 election, Davies became Chairman of the Housing Committee, and in 1996 was elected as Leader of the Council. He was chair of the Housing Committee of the London Boroughs Association -the predecessor of London Councils from 1996 to 1997.[2]

Elections to Parliament

At the 1987 general election, Davies contested the safe Conservative seat Croydon South, coming third. In 1992, Davies then stood in Croydon Central constituency coming second. At the 1997 general election, he stood again in Croydon Central, this time overturning the Conservative majority of 9,650 and becoming Croydon Central's MP with Labour majority of 3,897. At the 2005 election he lost his seat to the Conservative candidate Andrew Pelling by just 75 votes.[5]

Davies was subsequently selected for the Labour seat of Swansea West following the retirement of the constituency's MP of 45 years, Alan Williams. In the 2010 general election, he won with a majority of 504, increasing his majority in the 2015 general election and 2017 general election to 10,598 over the Conservatives.

MP for Croydon Central

In his first term in Parliament, Davies was appointed Chair of the Environment Transport & Regions Departmental Committee and served on the Public Accounts Committee.

Re-elected in 2001, Davies was appointed NSPCC Parliamentary Ambassador in 2003 (−2005) following his proposed Regulation of Childcare Providers Bill in April 2003 which meant childminders were no longer permitted to smack children and parents had the right to see records of complaints about prospective childminders in respect of child safety. These provisions were subsequently adopted by Government. He then proposed the Physical Punishment of Children (Prohibition) Bill in July 2003 which made striking children across the head, with implimeents or shaking them illegal. He sought to address children's issues with a Healthy Children Manifesto (June 2004) to ban junk food advertising to children and regulate food labeling (adopted by Government 11/06) and a School Meals and Nutrition Bill in January 2005 that sought to include nutrition in OFSTED and to ban unhealthy vending (provisions adopted 3/05 & 10/05). He also sponsored the Regulation of Hormone Disrupting Chemicals Bill (May 2004) to impose precautionary bans on chemicals with evidence of being dangerous. This bill was incorporated in the EU REACH directive 09/06 and supported by the World Wide Fund for Nature UK. He was also involved in a high-profile campaign for the release of British detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay.[6][7] Feroz Abbasi and Moazzam Begg were finally released on 25 January 2005.[8]

MP for Swansea West

Private Members' Bills

On his re-election for Swansea West in 2010, Davies became the first newly elected MP to present a Private Members' Bill – The Credit Regulation (Child Pornography) Bill [9] in July 2010 that received national media coverage and cross party support including an Early Day Motion signed by 203 MPs. The Bill penalises credit and debit card companies for facilitating the downloading of child abuse images and requires that pre-paid credit cards below £100 are only issued when the identity of those buying them is recorded in order trace their source if used for illegal downloading or underaged purchases of weapons or alcohol.

His Multinational Motor Manufacturing Companies (Duty of Care to Former Employees) Bill 2012–13 [10] was designed to ensure that former Ford employees, including those from Swansea, who were transferred to an arms-length company called Visteon that Ford created, were compensated for the under-funding of their pension fund. This helped to secure the £29 million pay out in 2014 by Ford to former employees after a five-year campaign supported by an all-party group of MPs for which Davies was Labour lead.

Davies' Counsellors and Psychotherapists (Regulation) Bill 2013–14 [11] was designed to ensure that patients were treated by qualified practitioners using evidence based treatment. It explicitly seeks to ban so-called gay to straight conversion therapy, sexual grooming or activity with patients by practitioners.

Davies' Sugar in Food and Drinks (Targets, Labelling and Advertising) Bill 2014–15[12] aims to help curb the obesity and diabetes epidemics by requiring food labeling to express added sugar content in teaspoonfuls, restricting high sugar products as presenting themselves as low fat in advertising and requiring the Secretary of State for Health to set annual targets for sugar content by food category recommended by the Food Standards Agency. The Bill was reintroduced to Parliament in September 2016[13] and subsequently published.[14]

Following publicity of Davies' Bill (10 September 2014) to criminalise the distribution of sexually explicit images without consent on the internet (known as revenge porn),[15] the Justice Secretary has announced that revenge porn will be criminalised.

In October 2014, he proposed a Bill to prohibit the advertising of electronic cigarettes and to prohibit their sale to children [16]

Davies' International Trade Agreement Scrutiny Bill[17] would require scrutiny of, and enable amendments to, international trade agreements, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (the proposed EU–US free trade deal) and the Investor State Dispute Settlements (which threatens to give multi-national companies the power to sue governments for laws they pass which protect consumers or workers and thereby affect future profit streams), by the European and UK Parliaments. Davies asked the Prime Minister to support his Bill in the House of Commons on the day it was presented on 27 October 2014 and David Cameron responded "there's an awful lot of scare stories going round and this greater scrutiny can lay some of those to rest". The Bill was reintroduced to Parliament in 2016[18] following a Commons debate in December 2015. Since then, Geraint has become Rapporteur for TTIP on the Council of Europe.[19]

In December 2015, Davies published his Fracking (Measurement and Regulation of Impacts) (Air, Water and Greenhouse Gas Emissions) Bill,[20] calling for strict limits on water contamination and fugitive methane emissions.[21][22]

Following the EU referendum in June 2016, Davies presented his Terms of Withdrawal from the EU (Referendum) Bill[23] to Parliament, which calls for a referendum on the terms of the exit package before the UK triggers Article 50 to leave the EU, with the option for people to choose to stay in the EU.[24][25] The Bill has been republished in 2017 and is at the forefront of a wider campaign for a People's Vote.

60 years after the Clean Air Act, Davies introduced the Clean Air Bill[26] to curb emissions and develop sustainable transport systems by road, rail air and sea. This included air quality targets, vehicle testing reflecting on-road conditions, air pollution measurement and warnings, powers to restrict and ban diesel vehicles in urban centres, a national infrastructure of electric and hydrogen filling points and a fiscal strategy to incentivise consumers and producers towards cleaner vehicles.[27] Davies has redrafted and submitted a Clean Air Bill in 2017,[28] in which he also incorporates measures to reduce indoor air pollution caused by chemicals at home and in public spaces at work, schools or in hospitals. The Bill is supported by a range of environmental and health groups including the UK Health Alliance, British Lung Foundation and UNICEF UK.

Davies also published his Plastics Bill in 2017[29] that calls for the government to set and enforce ambitious targets that would reduce the amount of plastic produced and also ensure that the producer pays for the recycling of plastic products through an Extended Producer Responsibility Plan. The Bill gives an external agency the powers to set and enforce those targets and calls the government to adopt a fiscal strategy and possible plastic bottle levy that would incentivise companies to use fewer plastics, and for the plastics they do use to be of better quality in order for it to be recycled easier. The Bill insistes this should be coupled with refill schemes and research to promote new greener materials.

Select Committees

Geraint Davies sits on two select committees; the Environmental Audit Committee[30] and the European Scrutiny Committee.[31] He also sits on the Panel of Chairs, and regularly chairs Westminster Hall debates in Parliament.[32]

Davies has called for the banning of fracking in the UK, cleaner air in urban centres, and for EU environmental legislation to continue in the event of the UK exiting the European Union.[33][34]

As a member of the European Scrutiny Committee, Davies has addressed ministers on subjects including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), and the 2016 referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union.[35]

Expenses and Wikipedia

For the year 2004–05, Davies' MP costs, including staff and offices in Parliament and his constituency, were the highest in the country.[36] Davies said "this shows I was one of the most hard-working MPs in Britain."[37] According to the Daily Telegraph this included over £20,000 on a central London flat 12 miles from his consistency home and taxi expenses he should not have been entitled to claim because of his second home[38] He also spent £38,750 on postage which he claimed were the result of the Croydon Central constituency being virtually the biggest and, due to the Lunar House Home Office Immigration Department, arguably the busiest in the UK. "Somebody has got to do the most work. I am proud it was me," he said.[39] Davies repaid £156 used to post his annual report calendars by prepaid envelopes instead of stamps [38] Davies spent £2,285 on his kitchen and £1,500 on his living room at the taxpayers’ expense.[40]

The Wikipedia article about him was one of a number edited ahead of the 2015 General Election by computers inside Parliament, an act which the Daily Telegraph says "appears to be a deliberate attempt to hide embarrassing information from the electorate." In Davies's case, the information deleted related to his expenses.[40]

Views

Davies favours a second referendum over Brexit. Davies wrote, "To make Jeremy Corbyn prime minister next year, Labour must back a public vote on the EU deal. The alternative is no deal, which would trigger a hard Brexit inflicted by a right-wing Tory prime minister between 2019 and 2022. (...) The chaos of a no-deal Brexit – with food and medicine shortages – will require emergency measures to keep lorries and planes moving. Shrinking economic activity and trade will require a squeeze on “expensive” environmental standards and rights at work. So, soon we may all be flying on board Jacob Rees-Mogg's time machine back to Charles Dickens’ Britain."[41]

References

  1. ^ DAVIES, Geraint Richard. ukwhoswho.com. Who's Who. 2017 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. closed access publication – behind paywall (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c "Dod's Guide to the General Election, June 2001", Vacher Dod Publishing, 2001, p. 92.
  3. ^ "The Times Guide to the House of Commons 1987" (Times Books, 1987), p. 88.
  4. ^ a b "The Times Guide to the House of Commons 1992" (Times Books, 1992), p. 87.
  5. ^ "United Kingdom general election results May 2005". Richard Kimber's Political Science Resources. Retrieved 29 August 2007.
  6. ^ Bring my son home BBC News, 20 February 2004.
  7. ^ Five Guantanamo Britons to return to UK The Guardian, 19 February 2004.
  8. ^ UK police release Guantanamo four BBC News, 27 January 2005.
  9. ^ "Page not found". parliament.uk. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014.
  10. ^ "Page not found". parliament.uk. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014.
  11. ^ "Page not found". parliament.uk. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014.
  12. ^ "Page not found". parliament.uk. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014.
  13. ^ "Sugar in Food and Drinks (Targets, Labelling and Advertising) Bill 2016-17 — UK Parliament". services.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  14. ^ "Sugar in Food and Drinks (Targets, Labelling and Advertising) Bill PDF" (PDF).
  15. ^ "Page not found". parliament.uk.
  16. ^ "Page not found". parliament.uk. Archived from the original on 31 October 2014.
  17. ^ "Page not found". parliament.uk. Archived from the original on 31 October 2014.
  18. ^ "International Trade Agreements (Scrutiny) Bill 2015-16 — UK Parliament". services.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  19. ^ "Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development Revised draft agenda" (PDF).
  20. ^ "Fracking (Measurement and Regulation of Impacts) (Air, Water and Greenhouse Gas Emissions) Bill 2014-15 — UK Parliament". services.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  21. ^ "Fracking (Measurement and Regulation of Impacts) (Air, Water and Greenhouse Gas Emissions) Bill 2014-15 — UK Parliament". services.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  22. ^ "Geraint Davies MP: My Bill puts safety before fracking". Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  23. ^ "Terms of Withdrawal from EU (Referendum) Bill 2016-17 — UK Parliament". services.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  24. ^ "Terms of withdrawal from EU (Referendum) Bill: 6 Jul 2016: House of Commons debates - TheyWorkForYou". TheyWorkForYou. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  25. ^ "Terms of Withdrawal from EU (Referendum) Bill". public-scrutiny-office.org. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  26. ^ "Clean Air Bill 2016-17 — UK Parliament". services.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  27. ^ "Air Quality Bill presented to Parliament". Air Quality News. 2016-09-14. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  28. ^ "Clean Air Bill 2017-19 — UK Parliament". services.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  29. ^ "Plastics Bill 2017-19 — UK Parliament". services.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  30. ^ "Membership - Environmental Audit Committee". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  31. ^ "Membership - European Scrutiny Committee". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  32. ^ "Membership - Panel of Chairs". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  33. ^ "Formal minutes - Environmental Audit Committee". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  34. ^ "UK Environmental Protection (Maintenance of EU Standards) Bill 2016-17 — UK Parliament". services.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  35. ^ "Formal minutes and attendance - European Scrutiny Committee". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  36. ^ "Mr Geraint Davies – Former Labour MP for Croydon Central". TheyWorkForYou.com. Retrieved 1 October 2007.
  37. ^ "MPs' expenses claims exceed £80m". BBC News. 27 October 2005. Retrieved 1 October 2005.
  38. ^ a b MPs' expenses: Geraint Davies spent £4,000 on renovation just before general election Daily Telegraph, 3 June 2009.
  39. ^ How MPs claimed a record £81m expenses The Guardian, 28 October 2005.
  40. ^ a b Ben Riley-Smith (26 May 2015). "Expenses and sex scandal deleted from MPs' Wikipedia pages by computers inside Parliament". Telegraph.co.uk.
  41. ^ If my party backs another Brexit referendum, Jeremy Corbyn will become prime minister next year The Independent.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Paul Beresford
Member of Parliament for Croydon Central
19972005
Succeeded by
Andrew Pelling
Preceded by
Alan Williams
Member of Parliament for Swansea West
2010–present
Incumbent