Frequently in the local media, he has appeared a number of times on the BBC Sunday Politics programme highlighting Green Party positions on various subjects, the most recent occasion being on rail renationalisation. He can be persuasive, is forthright and has a quick wit. After 40 years of involvement in British politics and as a lecturer he is able to speak on a large range of subjects with ease.
After working hard on the streets for the Remain Vote in the EU referendum campaign, he decided that it was important to ensure the Green Party leadership contest was as vigorous as possible, and he entered the contest to open up the debate. David is concerned that given the reality of the Brexit vote we must select our next Leader with great care for as a progressive alliance focused on electoral reform is possible and may emerge.
David grew up in Hanky Park, a notorious Salford slum better known from the book ‘Love on the Dole’. His father worked in an engineering factory and his mum worked behind the counter at British Home Stores. Like all the kids at his school he failed his eleven plus and went to Cromwell Road Secondary Modern. However, at 16 he transferred to the local Grammar School sixth form.
Showing promise as an artist, he attended Rochdale and Manchester College of Art where he met his wife Alison who went on to become a well-known ‘political’ ceramist. Having become politically active in the anti-Vietnam war campaign, David seemed more interested in political activity than art. At Newcastle University David joined the Labour Party in 1971 via the University Labour Club. At the same time he joined CND and the National Council for Civil Liberties.
He said, “I realised that here was a political force where I felt perfectly at home. I agreed with virtually everything that was proposed and the people I was with were sensible idealists with a clear vision of what the alternative should be”.
In 2006 he was elected as a Green councillor for Iffley Fields ward and in 2010 he became the Leader of the Green Group on Oxford City Council. 2013 saw him elected to Oxfordshire County Council. He is now the Leader of the Green Group and has been committed to fighting massive Tory austerity cuts by proposing alternative budgets to ensure the local community would retain all the services faced with £70 million worth of cuts annually.
Promoted and Produced by David Williams as part of his campaign for election to the post of Leader of the Green Party. This is not an official communication from the Green Party of England and Wales.
He says: “British politics is in meltdown and we must be consistent and clear in this chaos. A party united in its objectives will generate respect and support from the electorate. The ability to manage that with political skill will be vital.”
His stance is clear: we must not compromise our key values, and must maintain our political position as the true progressives in all areas. A great storm has broken and we need a skilled political leader at the helm.
Tomorrow is another day … the fight goes on!
His interest in practical politics was sparked when he became an election agent in the 1979 General Election. He was elected as a local councillor on the same day and stayed on as a local councillor in Rochdale Metropolitan Council for the next 20 years, increasing his majority each time. He built a reputation for hard work and good political judgement.
As a local councillor, David took up a number of senior roles such as Chair of Education and Chair of Economic Development. He helped with the 1983 General Election Manifesto for Labour and stood as their Parliamentary Candidate for Colne Valley in Kirklees. In the 1987 General Election, David stood as the Labour candidate against Cyril Smith in Rochdale and came within a whisker of winning. In the 1980s his two sons were born, Geraint and Keir, both of whom were educated at state schools.
At work, David became the Chief Executive of Quest Quays International, a publicly-funded agency that provided training courses and development programmes domestically and internationally. Groundbreaking innovatory work, mostly paid for from European funds, was conducted in Central and Eastern Europe. In the 1990s, David moved to Oxford to work as Head of the International Office at Oxford and Cherwell College, recruiting students from all over the world.
David’s politics were challenged with Labour moving towards Blair’s political agenda. Always somebody with strong views on social justice and an active campaigner for green policies, he was out of step with New Labour. The final straw came as the Labour played poodle to US foreign policy in Afghanistan and Iraq. The indifference and scorn the demonstrators faced from Labour, confirmed a decision he had been considering for some time – that he would join the Green Party. His vote had already changed in 1999 when he supported Caroline Lucas.