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Gregory David Clark (born 28 August 1967) is a British politician who served as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy from 2016 to 24 July 2019. A member of the Conservative Party, he has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tunbridge Wells since 2005.[5]


Greg Clark

Official portrait of Greg Clark crop 2.jpg
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
In office
14 July 2016 – 24 July 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded bySajid Javid (Business, Innovation and Skills)
Amber Rudd (Energy and Climate Change)
Succeeded byAndrea Leadsom
President of the Board of Trade[α]
In office
15 July 2016 – 19 July 2016
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded bySajid Javid
Succeeded byLiam Fox
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
In office
11 May 2015 – 14 July 2016
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byEric Pickles
Succeeded bySajid Javid
Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities
In office
15 July 2014 – 11 May 2015
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byDavid Willetts
Succeeded byJo Johnson (Universities and Science)
Minister of State for Cities and Constitution
In office
7 October 2013 – 15 July 2014
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byChloe Smith (Political Reform)
Succeeded byHimself (Universities, Science and Cities)
Sam Gyimah (the Constitution)
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
In office
4 September 2012 – 7 October 2013
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byMark Hoban
Succeeded bySajid Javid
Minister of State for Decentralisation
In office
13 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byNicholas Boles
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
In office
6 October 2008 – 11 May 2010
LeaderDavid Cameron
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byEd Miliband
Member of Parliament
for Tunbridge Wells
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded byArchie Norman
Majority16,465 (30.4%)
Personal details
Born
Gregory David Clark

(1967-08-28) 28 August 1967 (age 51)
Middlesbrough, North Riding of Yorkshire, England
Political partySocial Democrats (before 1988)
Conservative (1988–present)
Spouse(s)Helen Clark
Children3
Alma materMagdalene College, Cambridge
London School of Economics
Websitewww.gregclark.org Edit this at Wikidata

Clark was born in Middlesbrough and studied Economics at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he was president of Cambridge University Social Democrats. He then gained his PhD from the London School of Economics. Clark worked as a business consultant before becoming the BBC's Controller for Commercial Policy and then Director of Policy for the Conservative Party from 2001 until his election to parliament in 2005.

Between July 2014 and May 2015, he held the post of Minister for Universities, Science and Cities.[6] Clark was previously Financial Secretary to the Treasury, the minister responsible for cities policy, and Minister of State in the Department for Communities and Local Government and then was Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government from May 2015 until July 2016.[7]

In July 2016, he was appointed as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy by new Prime Minister Theresa May. He is described as an "economically liberal Conservative with a social conscience".[8]

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Greg Clark was born in Middlesbrough and attended St Peter's Roman Catholic School in South Bank. His father and grandfather were milkmen running the family business, John Clark and Sons,[9] while his mother worked at Sainsbury's.[10]

Clark read Economics at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He joined the Social Democratic Party while at Cambridge and was an executive member of its national student wing, Social Democrat Youth and Students (SDYS) and, in 1987, president of Cambridge University Social Democrats. He then studied at the London School of Economics, where he was awarded his PhD in 1992 with a thesis entitled, The effectiveness of incentive payment systems: an empirical test of individualism as a boundary condition.[11]

CareerEdit

Clark first worked as a business consultant for Boston Consulting Group, before becoming special advisor to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Ian Lang, between 1996 and 1997. Subsequently, he was appointed the BBC's Controller, Commercial Policy, and was Director of Policy for the Conservative Party from 2001 until his election to parliament in May 2005. Between 2002 and 2005, he was also a councillor on Westminster City Council, representing Warwick ward and serving as Cabinet Member for Leisure and Lifelong Learning.

Member of ParliamentEdit

Clark was selected as the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Tunbridge Wells in December 2004.[12] Clark was elected at the 2005 general election for the parliamentary constituency of Tunbridge Wells, after Archie Norman stood down as the MP.

He was elected with a majority of 9,988, and made his maiden speech on 9 June 2005,[13] in which he spoke of the (then) forthcoming 400th anniversary of Dudley, Lord North's discovery of the Chalybeate spring and the foundation of Royal Tunbridge Wells, a town to which the royal prefix was added in 1909 by King Edward VII. He also noted with pride that Royal Tunbridge Wells had elected the country's first Jewish Member of Parliament.[14]

Shadow CabinetEdit

Clark was appointed to the front bench, in a minor reshuffle in November 2006 by David Cameron, becoming Shadow Minister for Charities, Voluntary Bodies and Social Enterprise. Shortly after his appointment he made headlines by saying the Conservative party needed to pay less attention to the social thinking of Winston Churchill, and more to that of columnist on The Guardian, Polly Toynbee.[8]

In October 2007, Clark campaigned to save Tunbridge Wells Homeopathic Hospital.[15] In October 2008, Clark was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet, shadowing the new government position of Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. A spokesperson for West Kent PCT said 39 major studies had been made of homeopathy but there was "no clear evidence that it worked"

Minister of State for DecentralisationEdit

Clark was appointed a Minister of State in the Department for Communities and Local Government from May 2010, with responsibility for overseeing decentralisation, a key policy of the Liberal Democrat-Conservative coalition. In this role he called for the churches and other faith communities to send him their ideas for new social innovations for all,[16] and made a major speech on "turning government upside down" jointly to the think tanks CentreForum and Policy Exchange. He was accused of hypocrisy, having staunchly opposed house-building while in opposition, while threatening to impose it as a government minister.[17]

However, since announcing the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) he has been praised by heritage NGOs and Simon Jenkins of the National Trust.[citation needed]

From July 2011, he was responsible for cities policy since July 2011 as Minister for Cities.[18] In this role he tried to promote the urban economies of the North, West and Midlands.[19][third-party source needed]

In November 2015, in his capacity of Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Clark called in the decision making power in the appeal against the Lancashire County Council's decision regarding a shale gas fracking application made by Cuadrilla Resources.[citation needed]

Financial Secretary to the TreasuryEdit

In a cabinet reshuffle in September 2012, Clark was appointed Financial Secretary to the Treasury, while retaining the ministerial brief responsible for cities policy.[20]

Minister for Universities, Science and CitiesEdit

On 15 July 2014 Clark was appointed to the role of Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, replacing David Willetts who was generally praised for his service in the post.[6][21] The new portfolio combined the universities and science brief held by Willetts with the cities policy already handled by Clark.[22]

His appointment was met with concerns about securing future funding for universities[23] and questions over his public support for homoeopathic treatments.[21]

Secretary of State for Communities and Local GovernmentEdit

Clark returned to the Department of Communities and Local Government as Secretary of State on 11 May 2015, appointed in David Cameron's first cabinet reshuffle following the 2015 general election.[24]

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial StrategyEdit

Clark was appointed Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 14 July 2016, in Theresa May's first cabinet.[25] In October 2016, he appointed his predecessor as MP, Archie Norman, as Lead Non Executive Board Member for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.[26]

In February 2017, Clark travelled to Paris, in order to meet executives from Peugeot and the French Government, due to the proposed takeover of Vauxhall Motors.[27]

He came under substantial controversy, however, in May 2018, for suggesting that 3,500 UK domestic jobs could be lost as a direct and explicit result of Brexit. Brexiteers, such as Jacob Rees-Mogg claimed this was a "revival of project fear" by Mr Clark, but Clark argued in response that the job losses were 'substantiated' in the result of an inadequate customs union deal with the European Union, but has been clear that this does not include the transition/implementation period.[28]

Clark subsequently gave an interview on BBC Breakfast to clarify his three prerequisites to any or no customs union arrangement with the EU,[29] though they have not yet been supported by the prime minister:

  1. Minimise frictions at the border.
  2. Be able to sign new trade and free trade deals with countries outside of the European Union.
  3. avoid a hard border with Northern Ireland.

Greg Clark opposed a no deal Brexit. Clark said, “people in good jobs up and down the country are looking to our national leaders to make sure a deal is approved”. Clarke added, “We are one of the world's leaders in the next generation of automotive technology. To see that slip through our fingers is something we would regret forever.”[30]

No-deal Brexit resignationEdit

Clark, contrary to the advice of Theresa May, suggested he might resign from Cabinet in the event of the United Kingdom not securing a deal with the European Union in Brexit negotiations. At the time, this made him the most senior minister to do so.[31]

Brexit negotiating deadlineEdit

On 6 February 2019 Clark said to the business, energy and industrial strategy select committee that Theresa May had until 15 February to conclude Brexit negotiations in order to provide certainty to exporters to countries such as Japan because of the length of time that goods take to arrive. The EU-Japan free trade agreement would no longer apply to the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit and Clark indicated that he would resign if the government embarked on a no-deal Brexit.[32]

Outsourcing of departmental workersEdit

Under the tenure of Clark, who was responsible for workers’ rights nationally, his department in London reportedly refused to ensure that its staff, many of whom had been outsourced, were paid at least the London Living Wage.[33][34][35][36] In February 2019, the staff went on strike for 26 hours.[33]

Personal lifeEdit

Clark and his wife Helen have three children.[37] They live in Royal Tunbridge Wells.

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Appointed by the Privy Council in error for 4 days before the mistake was rectified.[1][2][3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ May, Callum (22 July 2016). "Minister Greg Clark was briefly given wrong job". BBC News. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  2. ^ Tilbrook, Richard (15 July 2016). "Business Transacted and Orders Approved at the Privy Council Held by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 15th July 2016" (PDF). Privy Council Office. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  3. ^ Tilbrook, Richard (19 July 2016). "Business Transacted and Orders Approved at the Privy Council Held by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 19th July 2016" (PDF). Privy Council Office. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Fall in number of Catholic MPs in the House of Commons ahead of landmark debate on assisted dying". The Tablet.
  5. ^ "No. 59418". The London Gazette. 13 May 2010. p. 8743.
  6. ^ a b "Michael Gove moved to chief whip in cabinet reshuffle". BBC News. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  7. ^ "Ministers". Gov.uk.
  8. ^ a b "A Conservative Who's Who". Financial Times. 10 May 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  9. ^ "Greg Clark MP – From Middlesbrough to Minister for Giving Power to the People". Platform 10. 20 April 2012. Archived from the original on 26 July 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Paul Goodman interviews Greg Clark". Conservative Home. 1 April 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  11. ^ Clark, David Gregory (1 January 1992). "The effectiveness of incentive payment systems: an empirical test of individualism as a boundary condition". Librarysearch.lse.ac.uk. PhD thesis 1992 LSE.
  12. ^ "Tories pick general election candidate". kentonline.co.uk. 3 December 2004. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  13. ^ "9 Jun 2005 : Column 1440". Archived from the original on 11 March 2007. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  14. ^ "Greg Clark maiden speech". theyworkforyou.com. 9 June 2005. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  15. ^ "Postcode lottery for homeopathic treatment". Kent News. 12 October 2007. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  16. ^ Clark, Greg (30 July 2010). "It's time for Government to stop getting in your way". Catholic Herald. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  17. ^ Countryside (24 August 2011). "Rural Britain prepares for the bulldozers". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  18. ^ McCann, Kate (20 July 2011). "Greg Clark appointed minister for cities". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  19. ^ Clark, Greg (9 December 2011). "A genuine New Deal is on offer for cities which take up our challenge". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  20. ^ "Greg Clark – About Greg". gregclark.org.
  21. ^ a b Ghosh, Pallab (15 July 2014). "Science minister has tough job to follow". BBC News. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  22. ^ Watt, Nicholas; Wintour, Patrick (15 July 2014). "Michael Gove demoted to chief whip as Cameron shows no sentimentality". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  23. ^ Shaw, Claire; Ratcliffe, Rebecca (15 July 2014). "Greg Clark appointed universities and science minister". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  24. ^ "Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP". gov.uk. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  25. ^ "May adds energy policy to Business department". BBC News. 14 July 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  26. ^ "Business Secretary appoints Archie Norman as Lead Non-Executive Board Member". www.gov.uk. 3 October 2016.
  27. ^ "Don't bother reading further – Vauxhall is dead". www.independent.co.uk. 14 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  28. ^ "Thousands of jobs at risk if Theresa May drops Brexit 'customs partnership' plan with the EU, business secretary suggests". The Independent. 6 May 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  29. ^ "Video: Greg Clark on the three conditions for a customs partnership | Daily Mail Online". Mail Online. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  30. ^ Brexit: Business secretary Greg Clark insists 'we need to have a deal', contradicting Theresa May The Independent
  31. ^ "Tory minister refuses to rule out resigning if Theresa May pushes no-deal 'disaster'". The Independent. 10 January 2019. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  32. ^ Kate Devlin (7 February 2019). "Deadline for agreeing Brexit deal is next week, business minister Greg Clark says". Thetimes.co.uk. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  33. ^ a b Gayle, Damien (13 February 2019). "'Living in poverty': workers at business department go on strike". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  34. ^ Syal, Rajeev (17 December 2018). "BEIS faces strike over low pay for outsourced service workers". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  35. ^ dvvDVV (21 January 2019). "Outsourced Whitehall support workers to strike over low pay". Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  36. ^ "Business Secretary's Workers' Rights Blitz Takes Hit As His Own Staff Vote To Strike". HuffPost UK. 17 December 2018. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  37. ^ Merrick, Jane (4 October 2009). "Greg Clark: Global warming is not on our back burner". Independent. Retrieved 20 March 2015.

External linksEdit

News articles
Video clips
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Archie Norman
Member of Parliament
for Tunbridge Wells

2005–present
Incumbent
Political offices
New office Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
2008–2010
Succeeded by
Ed Miliband
Minister of State for Decentralisation
2010–2012
Succeeded by
Nicholas Boles
Preceded by
Mark Hoban
Financial Secretary to the Treasury (City Minister)
2012–2013
Succeeded by
Sajid Javid
Preceded by
Chloe Smith
as Undersecretary of State for Political and Constitutional Reform
Minister of State for Cities and Constitution
2013–2015
Vacant
Preceded by
David Willetts
Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities
2014–2015
Succeeded by
Jo Johnson
as Minister of State for Universities and Science
Preceded by
Eric Pickles
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
2015–2016
Succeeded by
Sajid Javid
Preceded by
Sajid Javid
President of the Board of Trade
2016
Succeeded by
Liam Fox
Preceded by
Sajid Javid
as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
2016–2019
Succeeded by
Andrea Leadsom
Preceded by
Amber Rudd
as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change