Philip Davies

Philip Davies

Credentials

  • Historical and Political Studies, Huddersfield University. [1]

Background

Philip Davies is a Conservative MP, representing the constituency of Shipley. He is a lifelong Eurosceptic, claiming to be “the first MP to publicly call for Britain to withdraw from the European Union”. The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) chose to actively campaign for him in the 2010 general election. [2], [3]

Davies was one of only five MPs to vote against the UK's Climate Change Act in 2008, which set a 2050 80 percent emissions reduction target for the country. He has made a number of statements rejecting climate science and opposing action on climate change over the years. [4][5], [6]

Davies was an early “organiser” for the anti-tax pressure group, the Taxpayers' Alliance, part of the Tufton Street network of right-wing thinktanks and lobbyists. He is also a council member of the right-wing, libertarian Freedom Association, which ran the pro-Brexit “Better Off Out” campaign, launched by Davies in 2006, according to his profile on the Conservative Party website. [7], [8], [9], [1]

The Freedom Association caused controversy in the 1980s for campaigning against boycotts of apartheid-era South Africa. Other prominent anti-EU politicians sit on the organisation's council, including Christopher Chope, Roger Helmer and Daniel Hannan, as well as climate science denier Christopher Monckton and Patrick Minford, leader of the pro-Brexit Economists for Free Trade. The group's patron is Lord Nigel Vinson, one of the few known funders of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. [10][8]

Davies has been criticised for his opposition to ”political correctness” and feminism, as well as his strong support for Donald Trump. [11], [12], [13]

In the 2019 Conservative leadership contest, Davies backed Esther McVey, to whom he is engaged. [14]

Before becoming an MP in 2005, Davies worked as a Senior Marketing Manager at the supermarket Asda, as well as in the gambling industry. [1], [15]

Davies stood for election unsuccessfully in 2001. He has rebelled against his party more than 250 times, according to the Public Whip website. [16]

Although Davies has never held a position in either the cabinet or shadow cabinet, he has been a member of numerous parliamentary select committees. He currently sits on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, the DCMS Sub-Committee on Disinformation and the Women and Equalities Committee. [17]

Stance on Climate Change

March 8, 2010

Philip Davies said in an interview: [18]

“The UK is responsible for 2% of the world's carbon emissions so even if we were to eliminate all of our carbon emissions it wouldn't make any difference at all to global carbon emissions because China, for example, their growth of carbon emissions each year is bigger than our total.”

“It's very costly, it would be damaging to our economy, it'll put up our energy bills for people who are already struggling to pay them and for no net benefit at all because the global carbon emissions won't be affected in any shape or form, so it's gesture politics, it's utterly futile.”

“Rather than trying to change the world's climate, which is a ridiculous concept, really, if you sit back and think about it… Of course the climate has always changed. To say we've got climate change is like saying that, you know, tomorrow is Sunday. Of course the climate has changed, it always has done. The issue is whether it's changing negatively, and there are actually some positive results from the global warming. Some countries benefit from that, it's not all negative.”

“We've just learned recently that there hasn't been any for 15 years, even according to the people who are trying to whip up as big a frenzy as possible.” [18]

Key Quotes

February 4, 2015

Davies tweeted: [19]

“@simonbullock The main problem is the cost of energy. Climate change obligations such as idiotic windmills affect all bills” [19]

December 18, 2013

Davies tweeted: [20], [21]

“@TheLocalLeader The climate has always changed - it is not that long since we were told we were heading for the next ice age” [20]

“@TheLocalLeader If you're asking if global warming exists then it hasn't for the last 15 yrs. Hence the name change to “climate change” [21]

August 28, 2008

In a Daily Express article on a report by the Taxpayers' Alliance, for which Davies was an “organiser” at the time, he said: [22]

“More and more people are realising that green taxes have nothing to do with being green. They’re just an excuse to tax us more.”

They’ve got more to do with a greedy Government that is trying to fill a black hole in its finances.” [22]

Key Deeds

May 7, 2019

Davies angered one of his constituents by dismissing her concerns about climate change in a “condescending and supercilious” email. He told the constituent that reducing emissions in the UK would make no difference to global temperatures, unless China, India and the USA also did so, and that it would instead damage the economy and make energy bills more unaffordable for the poor. He said doing so “might make many middle class people feel better about themselves” but he said the money would be better spent on adapting to climate change. [23]

February 18, 2019

Davies criticised the Labour Party’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Shipley, the constituency he represents, for supporting schoolchildren's “climate strikes”. He said: “People can hold whatever views they want to and I am a strong believer in freedom of speech. However Ms Pike is sending out the wrong message to young people that they can do as they like, when they like.” [24]

February 27, 2017

Davies met with members of the “Hope for the Future” climate campaign group. According to a report of the meeting, he claimed that the climate was always changing and did not believe in the UK taking unilateral action given its size relative to other countries. He also said he was concerned that the development of renewable energy would increase energy prices. Davies did, however, say he would raise the issue of building standards and insulation for homes, as well as the charging of business rates on community renewables projects, with the relevant ministers. [25]

Affiliations

Social Media

Publications

Philip Davies does not appear to have published anything in any major media outlets.

Resources

  1. Philip Davies,” Conservatives. Archived September 2, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/pjXhf

  2. About Philip,” Philip Davies website. Archived September 2, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/bXoBS

  3. Jonathan Isaby. “UKIP will actively campaign for the election of five Conservative candidates and one Labour candidate,” ConservativeHome, April 13, 2010. Archived September 2, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/y1Jy3

  4. Mat Hope. “These are the Climate Science Denier MPs Lobbying for a Hard Brexit,” DeSmog, February 9, 2018.

  5. Philip Davies MP on climate change.mov,” YouTube video uploaded by user robdaleworks on March 8, 2010. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  6. Nathan Atkinson. “Shipley MP Philip Davies embroiled in climate change row,” Telegraph & Argus, May 7, 2019. Archived September 5, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/QyncC

  7. Two new TPA Organisers,” Taxpayers' Alliance, November 16, 2007. Archived September 5, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/qll7E

  8. Council & Management Committee,” The Freedom Association. Archived April 18, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/Lcxqd

  9. Brendan Carlin, Jonathan Isaby. “Tory MPs sign up to anti-EU campaign,” The Telegraph, April 27, 2006. Archived April 18, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/Lw1XF

  10. Marina Hyde. “North Korea set their World Cup target: happiness for the Dear Leader,” The Guardian, June 14, 2010. Archived April 18, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/YvWq4

  11. Paul Owen, Matthew Holehouse. “Philip Davies MP bombarded watchdog in 'political correctness' campaign,” Guardian, December 18, 2009. Archived September 5, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/Faouh

  12. Jon Stone. “Anti-feminist Tory MP Philip Davies elected to Parliament's women and equalities committee,” Independent, December 13, 2016. Archived September 5, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/G5teW

  13. Jon Stone. “Tory MP Philip Davies says he'd vote for Donald Trump 'in a heartbeat',” Independent, September 29, 2016. Archived September 5, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/Ad214

  14. Alistair Shand. “MP Philip Davies backs his fiancee in Tory leadership race,” Keighley News, May 27, 2019. Archived September 2, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/AbMga

  15. Tom Embury-Dennis. “MPs who defended betting machines in Commons debate have received thousands in gifts from bookmakers,” Independent, November 25, 2017. Archived September 2, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/QqN1q

  16. Voting Record — Philip Davies MP, Shipley (11816),” Public Whip. Archived September 2, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/Xr7Xa

  17. Philip Davies MP,” Parliament.uk. Archived September 2, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/cgOLW

  18. Philip Davies MP on climate change.mov,” YouTube video uploaded by user robdaleworks on March 8, 2010. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  19. @simonbullock The main problem is the cost of energy. Climate change obligations such as idiotic windmills affect all bills,” Tweet by @PhilipDaviesUK, February 4, 2015. Retrieved from Twitter.com. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

  20. @TheLocalLeader The climate has always changed - it is not that long since we were told we were heading for the next ice age,” Tweet by @PhilipDaviesUK, December 18, 2013. Retrieved from Twitter.com. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

  21. @TheLocalLeader If you're asking if global warming exists then it hasn't for the last 15 yrs. Hence the name change to “climate change,” Tweet by @PhilipDaviesUK, December 18, 2013. Retrieved from Twitter.com. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

  22. Gabriel Milland. “Green tax con costs you a fortune,” Daily Express, August 28, 2008. Archived September 5, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/WXxTW

  23. Nathan Atkinson. “Shipley MP Philip Davies embroiled in climate change row,” Telegraph & Argus, May 7, 2019. Archived September 5, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/QyncC

  24. Philip Davies MP condemns support for climate change truancy protests,” Philip Davies website, February 18, 2019. Archived September 5, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/GuJVL

  25. Philip Davies MP Agrees to Challenge Government on Housing Insulation Standards and Increased Renewables Tax,” Hope for the Future, February 27, 2017. Archived September 5, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/awuAO

Other Resources

Photo credit: Chris McAndrew/Wikimedia/CC BY 3.0