Denzil Davies

David John Denzil Davies PC (9 October 1938 – 10 October 2018) was a British Labour politician. He served for 35 years as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Llanelli from 1970 to 2005, and was a member of the Privy Council.

Denzil Davies
Denzil Davies.jpg
Official portrait, 2001
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
In office
26 October 1984 – 14 June 1988
LeaderNeil Kinnock
Preceded byJohn Silkin
Succeeded byMartin O'Neill
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
In office
20 March 1983 – 31 October 1983
LeaderMichael Foot
Preceded byAlec Jones
Succeeded byBarry Jones
Minister of State at the Treasury
In office
17 June 1975 – 4 May 1979
Prime MinisterJames Callaghan
Preceded byRobert Sheldon
Succeeded byArthur Cockfield
Peter Rees
Member of Parliament
for Llanelli
In office
19 June 1970 – 11 April 2005
Preceded byJim Griffiths
Succeeded byNia Griffith
Personal details
David John Denzil Davies

(1938-10-09)9 October 1938
Died10 October 2018(2018-10-10) (aged 80)
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Mary Ann Finlay (div.) Ann Carlton
Alma materPembroke College, Oxford

Early lifeEdit

Davies was born in Cynwyl Elfed, Carmarthenshire.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] He lectured in Law at University of Chicago in 1963 and the University of Leeds from 1964.[citation needed] He practised at the tax bar between 1967 and 1975.[citation needed] Later he also practised in the field of personal injuries and served as a head of chambers.[citation needed]

Parliamentary careerEdit

Davies unsuccessfully sought the Labour nomination for the 1966 Carmarthen by-election, losing out to Gwilym Prys-Davies.[1]

Davies was elected in the 1970 general election as the Member of Parliament for Llanelli. He would go on to be appointed as a Treasury Minister in James Callaghan's Government. He was a Eurosceptic, and he campaigned against Britain's entry into the EEC.[2] He also opposed the National Assembly for Wales.[citation needed]

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.[3]

He was one of the few Labour MPs with ministerial experience remaining after the 1997 landslide[citation needed] that returned Labour to power after 18 years in opposition. As a backbencher Davies continued to oppose Britain's membership of the EU.[4]

He stood down at the 2005 general election, and was replaced by Nia Griffith. He died on 10 October 2018.

Personal lifeEdit

He married Mary Ann Finlay in 1963.[citation needed] They had a son and daughter.[citation needed] They divorced in 1988.[citation needed] He married Ann Carlton in 1989.[citation needed]


  • 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)


  1. ^ (6 minutes in)
  2. ^ Archived 5 April 2019 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Labour Deputy Leader Elections". Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  4. ^ Archived 20 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Hansard, 27 February 2002. Retrieved 12 September 2017.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Llanelli
Succeeded by