Edward Davey MP

Edward Davey MP (Liberal Democrat) MP for Kingston & Surbiton. AKA Ed Davey. Liberal Democrat Chair of Campaigns and Communications, and Leader's Chief of Staff. Member of the All Party Internet Group. He has a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford and a MSc in Economics from London University. Before entering Parliment he worked in Economic policy for the Liberal Democrats and in management consultancy. He first entered Parliment in 1997.


Communications Data Bill

Ed Davey was contacted by a constituent and gave this response:

Thank you very much for contacting me about the Government’s proposals on communications data. This is an issue that has clearly generated a lot of interest, and I would like to try to clarify the situation. I apologise for the delay in this reply.

Liberal Democrats have a long and proud record of fighting to protect our civil liberties. We firmly opposed Labour’s illiberal legislation while in opposition, and can be proud of having repealed much of this while in Coalition. Since entering government in May 2010 we have scrapped Labour’s costly and intrusive ID card scheme, reduced detention without charge, scrapped control orders, ended child detention for immigration purposes, and restored rights to peaceful protest. This is a record on civil liberties of which we can be proud.

There has been a lot of speculation on the proposals, and much of it has been inaccurate.

Firstly, it should be made clear that the Government will not be able to access at will the content of emails, facebook messages, or any other communications data. Currently, the police or intelligence services are only able to access the content of communications data with a warrant issued by the Home Secretary, and this will not change. There will be no weakening of the current safeguards in place, and there absolutely will be no centralised database of communications data, as proposed by Labour in 2006.

However, Liberal Democrats are clear that even the current safeguards must be strengthened, to ensure that every person’s data is protected with the utmost security. That is why Nick Clegg has made it clear that not only will any new proposals have the “highest possible safeguards”, but that the Government will review existing protections as well.

The proposals ensure that we only maintain the current capacity of the police and security services by keeping pace with the use of new communications technology, not to extend powers any further. Nick Clegg has made clear that the proposals will not be “rammed through Parliament”, but will be subjected to proper scrutiny and debate. Open Parliamentary hearings will be held to examine draft clauses of any legislation.

As a Liberal Democrat, I take issues concerning our civil liberties very seriously, and I can assure you that I will be following this matter closely.

Thank you for contacting me regarding this issue. If you would like to discuss this further please do not hesitate to attend one of my advice sessions, see here for details: http://www.edwarddavey.co.uk/web/?q=advicesessions.

Edward Davey MP

Digital Economy Bill

Edward Davey is being visited by at least one supporter.

Freedom of Information

Signed Early Day Motion 845 Freedom of Information 06 Febuary 2007

That this House expresses concern that the proposed new fees regulations under the Freedom of Information Act would allow authorities to refuse on cost grounds a high proportion of requests which they are currently required to answer; notes that the Government's consultation document recognises that this will have a greater impact on journalists, hon. Members, campaign groups and researchers than on private individuals; considers that such changes would undermine the Act's contribution to increased discussion of public affairs, accountability and trust in the work of public authorities; and calls on the Government not to proceed with the proposals.

Signed Early Day Motion 2699 Freedom of Information 10 December 2006

That this House welcomes the finding of the Constitutional Affairs Committee (HC991) that the Freedom of Information Act has `already brought about the release of significant new information and....this information is being used in a constructive and positive way' and the committee's conclusion that it sees `no need to change' the Act's charging arrangements; views with concern reports that the Government is considering changing these arrangements to permit an application fee to be charged for all requests or to allow authorities to refuse, on cost grounds, a significant proportion of requests which they currently must answer; and considers that such changes could undermine the Act's benefits of increased openness, accountability and trust in the work of public authorities.

Open Source Software

Signed Early Day Motion 179 Software in Schools 21 November 2006

That this House congratulates the Open University and other schools, colleges and universities for utilising free and open source software to deliver cost-effective educational benefit not just for their own institutions but also the wider community; and expresses concern that Becta and the Department for Education and Skills, through the use of outdated purchasing frameworks, are effectively denying schools the option of benefiting from both free and open source software and the value and experience small and medium ICT companies could bring to the schools market.

Electronic Voting

Has made speaches about postal voting and fraud. 5 April 2005

When an election commissioner describes Britain's postal voting system as "hopelessly insecure", will the Minister really dismiss that judgment? The case was one of "massive, systematic and organised" electoral fraud.

Still talking about postal voting, but the same ideas hold for Electronic Voting. Westminster Hall debate [1] 16 September 2004

... We did have concerns about fraud, and we still do. Just because we do not know that fraud has taken place does not mean that it has not. ...

National Vehicle Tracking Database

Written question Number Plate Recognition System 27 February 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what legislation enables the proposed scheme to extend the automatic number plate recognition system throughout the motorway network.


House of Commons debates 1901 Census 4 February 2002

"The collapse of the 1901 census website was a huge frustration to millions of people in Britain and across the world. But it also provides a valuable insight into what people might really want from eGovernment," "Rupert Murdoch realised he needed sport to sell his satellite TV business. Ministers must now realise the 1901 census site could be key for early success in eGovernment - and so support its early relaunch."


Signed Early Day Motion 2056 NHS connecting for health computer system 27 April 2006

That this House notes with concern the contents of a letter to the Commons Health Select Committee signed by 23 senior academics in computer-related science which criticises the NHS Connecting for Health computer system, and reports in The Sunday Times of 16th April that the system, which was projected to cost £2.3 billion, could cost between £15 billion and £30 billion; further notes that NHS trusts are facing an estimated deficit of £600 million to £1 billion; and calls upon the Secretary of State to set up an independent review of the project and to ensure that any savings identified are directed to cash-strapped NHS trusts.



Unknown Date - Kingston Informer - ID cards
Summary: Identity cards will solve all Britain’s problems – if you believe Home Secretary David Blunkett. Apparently ID cards will help fight terrorism, crime, benefit fraud, illegal immigration and make a cup of tea in the morning. Technology is amazing, isn’t it? Am I the only person who doesn’t believe this nonsense? ... Similarly, ID cards will have some benefits, but I doubt they’ll be worth it.
2005-04-06 - The Guardian - Ministers talk tough as fears of electoral fraud grow
Author: Patrick Wintour
Summary: The home secretary, Charles Clarke, will today urge police chiefs to crack down on electoral fraud amid fears of widespread corruption with up to 8m voters using postal ballots. ... Edward Davey, the Liberal Democrat spokesman on local government, asked: "How can you hope to restore trust in politics when voters cannot have trust in the postal-voting system that this government has devised?"
2005-04-05 - Liberal Democrats - Liberal Democrats Set Out Improvements To Current Flawed Postal Vote System
Summary: Edward Davey MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow to the ODPM, today forced Local Government Minister, Nick Raynsford MP, to come to the House of Commons to respond to the case of the Birmingham Labour Councillors who were yesterday found guilty of electoral fraud. ... "It is crazy that parties are not able to check postal vote application forms after the election. The period for petitioning against an election result should be extended to 2 months to enable such checks to take place."
2004-12-10 - The Guardian - Watchdog defied on all-postal elections
Author: Sarah Hall
Summary: The government insisted yesterday that all-postal elections should continue, overriding strong objections from the watchdog responsible for overseeing polls. ... Edward Davey, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, said: "This is a slap in the face for the public. This decision could end up undermining people's faith in the elections."
2004-12-09 - Liberal Democrats - Goverment's response to postal vote report slap in the face of voters - Davey
Summary: Commenting on the Government response to the Electoral Commission's report, on postal voting, in which Ministers reject the argument that all-postal voting should not be pursued at UK elections, Edward Davey MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow to the ODPM, said: "This is a slap in the face for the public. This decision could end up undermining people's faith in the elections. "The fiasco of incompetence and alleged fraud from last June's elections has been conveniently forgotten by the Government. By ignoring the advice of the independent watchdog and the concerns of the voters Ministers are failing to get the consensus needed for changes in election practice."
2002-04-11 - The Guardian - Show me the money
Author: Victor Smart
Summary: There are still plenty of hurdles to e-cash, acknowledges the Liberal Democrats' frontbench Treasury spokesman Edward Davey, an e-cash consultant before entering parliament in 1997. "But that doesn't mean there won't be a breakthrough," he argues. "We have already seen a huge decline in the cheque thanks to the rise in debit and credit cards." One straw in the wind is that Egg, the web-based bank, intends to enable customers with Microsoft Hotmail to email money into other people's accounts, PayPal-style.
2002-02-04 - The Guardian - Census may unlock e-government's potential, says MP
Author: Matthew Tempest
Summary: The unprecedented popularity of the online 1901 census could be the "killer application" which finally allows e-government to take off, a senior MP claimed today. Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat chief secretary to the Treasury and a keen advocate of online democracy, believes the huge demand for the census - which finally caused the site to crash and be taken offline - could prove to be the breakthrough which allows e-democracy to take off in the way that premiership football fuelled the take up of digital TV.
2002-02-04 - The Guardian - Call for government to back census website
Author: Owen Gibson
Summary: The new census website could be the "killer application" that will get the nation's internet refusniks online, the government will be told today. Liberal Democrat MP Edward Davey said the government needed to step in to ensure the relaunch of the site - which has remained closed since crashing on launch day - will not turn into a second disaster. "The collapse of the 1901 census website was a huge frustration to millions of people in Britain and across the world. But it also provides a valuable insight into what people might really want from eGovernment," he will tell parliament during a debate about the internet. "Rupert Murdoch realised he needed sport to sell his satellite TV business. Ministers must now realise the 1901 census site could be key for early success in eGovernment - and so support its early relaunch."
2000-11-03 - The Guardian - MPs' websites slated for e-blandness
Summary: A sitting MP who uses his or her site to educate and communicate with constituents, like Paul Flynn or Liberal Democrat Edward Davey, can build a better relationship and so hope for a degree of local loyalty at the following election
1999-08-20 - The Register - Locals gang up on EDS
Summary: Kingston's local paper, the Kingston Informer has joined forces with local MP, Edward Davey, after a catalogue of problems concerning EDS's handling of the borough’s housing benefits system. ... Davey told, The Informer: "I fully support this campaign. My constituents need a solution. I am fed up with the way EDS has behaved. It is time that the council put a plan on the table to show it can take over if EDS goes."