|Marital Status:||Married, two children|
|Education:||Millfield School; St John's College, Oxford|
David Heath was appointed the Deputy Leader of the House of Commons following the formation of the Coalition Government.
David was born on 16th March 1954 in Westbury-sub-Mendip, Somerset. He attended Millfield School and went on to study at St John's College Oxford, (MA Physiological Sciences) and the City University, London. On leaving University in 1979, he went into practice as a registered optician.
His political career began in 1985 when he was elected to Somerset County Council as a Liberal. He remained on the council until May 1997, serving as Leader from 1985 to 1989, and as Leader of the Opposition from 1989 to 1991. He was appointed CBE for political service in 1989.
In 1990-91 David worked as parliamentary consultant to the Word Wide Fund for Nature, and in the 1992 General Election he contested the Somerton and Frome constituency for the first time. He served as Chairman of Avon and Somerset Police Authority from 1993 to 1996, and Chairman of Somerset County Council's Education Committee in 1996-97. He was also vice chairman of the Association of County Councils 1994-97, and was a member of the Audit Commission 1994 to 1997. Since July 1997 he has been a Vice-President of the Local Government Association.
At the 1997 General Election David was elected MP for Somerton and Frome. He was the Liberal Democrat frontbench spokesman on Foreign Affairs and then spokesman for Agriculture and Rural Affairs. He was also selected as the Liberal Democrat Member of the Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs. He also was invited to sit on the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe).
During the 2001 - 2005 Parliament David was Liberal Democrat spokesman for Work, as part of the shadow Work & Pensions team from 2001 - 2002; spokesman for Science from 2001 - 2003; number 2 in the Home Affairs team from 2002 - 2005; spokesman for the Lord Chancellors Department in the House of Commons (latterly known as the Department for Constitutional Affairs) from 2003 - 2005. He served on the Standards & Privileges Committee 2001 - 2005 and the Science & Technology Committee from 2001 - 2003. He was also instrumental during the last Parliament in setting up the All Party Parliamentary Group on Eye Health and Visual Impairment, serving as the chairman from inauguration.
Having been re-elected for a third time in May 2005, with an increased majority, David was appointed Liberal Democrat Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, while continuing with his role as party spokesman on Constitutional Affairs. After the election of Sir Menzies Campbell as party leader in March 2006, David was reappointed Shadow Leader of the House, as well as Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, and given a special roving brief for Human Rights and Civil Liberties.When the Cabinet was reshuffled in July 2007, David was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor. David became Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Shadow Lord Chancellor under Nick Clegg. David resigned from his post in March 2008. In October 2008 David was appointed to lead the Commission on Privacy, with a remit to examine the current state of privacy in the UK and how new technology can be used to protect rather than undermine the confidentiality of personal data. In January 2009 David was reappointed Shadow Leader of the House.In September 2012, David was appointed Minister of State for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
David is married and has two children. He lives in the heart of his constituency at Witham Friary between Frome and Bruton.
Some of our latest Act members
Published and promoted by and on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, 8-10 Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AE. Tel: (020) 7222 7999
Developed and hosted by Being, The Tea Warehouse, 10a Lant Street, London SE1 1QR