Denzil Davies

The Right Honourable
Denzil Davies
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
In office
26 October 1984  14 June 1988
Leader Neil Kinnock
Preceded by John Silkin
Succeeded by Martin O'Neill
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
In office
20 March 1983  31 October 1983
Leader Michael Foot
Preceded by Alec Jones
Succeeded by Barry Jones
Minister of State at the Treasury
In office
17 June 1975  4 May 1979
Prime Minister James Callaghan
Preceded by Robert Sheldon
Succeeded by Arthur Cockfield
Peter Rees
Member of Parliament
for Llanelli
In office
19 June 1970  11 April 2005
Preceded by Jim Griffiths
Succeeded by Nia Griffith
Personal details
Born (1938-10-09) 9 October 1938
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Mary Ann Finlay (div.) Ann Carlton
Alma mater Pembroke College, Oxford

David John Denzil Davies (born 9 October 1938) is a British Labour politician. He served for 35 years as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Llanelli from 1970 to 2005, and is a member of the Privy Council.

Early life

Davies was born in Cynwyl Elfed, Carmarthenshire. He attended Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School for Boys in Carmarthen, and then Pembroke College, Oxford, where he graduated with a First Class Honours BA in Law and Gray's Inn where he qualified as a barrister. He lectured in Law at University of Chicago in 1963 and the University of Leeds from 1964. He practised at the tax bar between 1967 and 1975. Later he also practised in the field of personal injuries and served as a head of chambers.

Parliamentary career

Davies was a Treasury Minister in James Callaghan's Government. He was seen as a Eurosceptic, and he opposed the National Assembly for Wales.

Davies served in a number of posts when Labour formed the Official Opposition after the election of Margaret Thatcher in 1979, including Shadow Secretary of State for Wales in Michael Foot's Shadow Cabinet and Shadow Secretary of State for Defence in Neil Kinnock's. Like his predecessor as Shadow Defence Secretary, John Silkin, he resigned from the front bench in June 1988 in protest at Neil Kinnock's management style. The trigger for his resignation was Kinnock's announcement, without reference to Davies or the Shadow Cabinet, of a change in Labour's defence policy, from unilateral nuclear disarmament to multilateral nuclear disarmament and then back to unilateral nuclear disarmament, over a period of three days. He made an unsuccessful bid for the Labour Party deputy leadership in 1983.[1]

He was one of the few Labour MPs with ministerial experience remaining after the 1997 landslide that returned Labour to power after 18 years in opposition. As a backbencher Davies continued to oppose Britain's membership of the EU.[2]

He stood down at the 2005 general election, and was replaced by Nia Griffith.

Personal life

He married Mary Ann Finlay in 1963. They have a son and daughter. They divorced in 1988. He married Ann Carlton in 1989.


Booth: Residence and Domicile in U.K. Taxation (successive editions) Maximise Damages, Minimise Taxes (1993) World Trade Organisation and GATT (1994) The Galilean and the Goose – How Christianity converted the Roman Empire (2010 ISBN 978-0-9566489-0-7)


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Jim Griffiths
Member of Parliament for Llanelli
Succeeded by
Nia Griffith
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