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David Jones (Clwyd West MP)

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The Right Honourable
David Jones
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
Member of Parliament
for Clwyd West
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Gareth Thomas
Majority 6,419 (16.8%)
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 22 March 1952 (age 63)
LondonUnited Kingdom
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Sara Jones
Alma mater University College London
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]
He is the first Welsh secretary to have served as an Assembly Member,[4] and the first Conservative Welsh Secretary to represent a Welsh constituency since Nicholas Edwards (1979–87).[5]

Early life[edit source | edit]

David Jones was born in London to Welsh parents. His father was a British Army officer who served in northwest India and later ranpharmacies around the Wrexham area.[6]
He was educated at Ruabon Grammar SchoolUniversity 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 source | edit]

Welsh Assembly[edit source | 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 source | 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.[7] 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,[8] when he focused on the needs of his rural constituency and on crime. He also expressed concern aboutwind farms planned for his constituency (the proposed Gwynt y Mor wind farm[9] 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.[10]
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.[11] He has been known to give up his activity on social media for Lent.[2] His constituency office is based inColwyn Bay.[12]

Controversies[edit source | edit]

In 2013 it was reported that Jones took a chauffeur-driven Jaguar on a journey of about 100 metres.[13]
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”.[14] The gay rights organisation Stonewall, which in 2010 had given Jones a score of 14% in favour of lesbian, gay and bisexual equality,[15] issued a statement expressing great sadness about his comments.[16]
Welsh secretary David Jones MP for Clwyd West forced to pay back £81,000 [17]
In June 2014 David Jones was marred in further controversy when he refused to apologise [18]to a disabled ex-serviceman a liar and accused him of being a member of the Labour Party and brushed of the disabled ex-serviceman’s plight as no more than a party political stunt causing great offence by this accusation.
Former Welsh Secretary David Jones was linked to the poison pen style blog Thoughts of Oscar, this was revealed during a house of commons speech into alleged collusion with North Wales Police and the anonymous blog authorship on September 9th 2014.[19]
A local blogger[20] was accused of an electoral offence by David Jones, during the 2015 general election, potentially affecting Mr Jones’ chance of re-election, but the CPS make the decision to take no action.

Secretary of State for Wales[edit source | 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 Waterwayports.[21]
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[22] 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”.[23]
David Jones was sacked[24] from his position as Secretary of State for Wales in 2014, after less than two years in the job.

Personal life[edit source | 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 source | edit]