Clare Short
Clare Short was MP for Birmingham Ladywood from 1983 to 2010 and Secretary of State for International Development from 1997 to May 2003. DFID was a new Ministry created after the 1997 general election to promote policies for sustainable development and the elimination of poverty.

Of Irish ancestry, Ms Short was born in Birmingham on 15 February 1946. She was educated at St Paul's Grammar School, Birmingham, and at the Universities of Keele and Leeds. She graduated as Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Political Science.

She previously worked as a Civil Servant at the Home Office, as a Director of Youthaid and the Unemployment Unit and as a Director of AFFOR, a community-based organisation promoting racial equality in Birmingham. She entered the House of Commons in 1983 as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Birmingham Ladywood, which is the area where she was born and grew up.

From 1996 until the 1997 General Election she was Opposition spokesperson on Overseas Development. She was Shadow Minister for Women from 1993 to 1995 and Shadow Secretary of State for Transport from 1995 to 1996. She has been Opposition spokesperson on Environment Protection, Social Security and Employment. She was a member of Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) from 1988 to 1997 and Chair of the NEC Women's Committee from 1993 to 1996.

In 2003, Ms Short resigned from the Government over the Iraq war and in 2006, she resigned the Labour whip.

In November 2004, Ms Short’s book An Honourable Deception? New Labour, Iraq, and the Misuse of Power was published as an attempt to explain why Tony Blair did what he did on Iraq so that lessons could be learned and things put right. In 2005, it was awarded Political Book of the Year by Channel 4.

Since 2006, Ms Short has been a member of the Advocacy Panel of Cities Alliance, which is an alliance of the World Bank, UN–HABITAT, local government and development partners committed to meeting the UN target to develop cities without slums.

She stood down from Parliament in 2010, and is now active in various organisations working on slum upgrading in the developing world, African-led humanitarian action, destitute asylum seekers in Birmingham, Gay Pride in Birmingham, Trade Justice for the developing world and for a just settlement of the Palestinian/ Israeli conflict. She is a trustee of Hope Projects (West Midlands) Ltd, Trade Out of Poverty, the Welfare Association, Africa Humanitarian Action, and the Human Trafficking Foundation; and patron of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions UK and Birmingham Pride. She is a member of the Advisory Committee of International Lawyers for Africa and chairs the International Advisory Board of the Cranfield Masters in Security Sector Management Programme. In March 2011 she was elected Chair of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

Entries by Clare Short

A Missile Attack on Syria Will Only Perpetuate the Civil War and Cause Further Suffering

(117) Comments | Posted 29 August 2013 | (00:00)

I support the view that every effort should be made to uphold the ban on the use of chemical weapons-though I recall a complete failure to act over Israel's use of white phosphorus in Gaza. It was surely right to go to the Security Council after the chemical weapons attack...

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Libya Post Conflict: We Must Learn From the Failures in Iraq

(7) Comments | Posted 23 August 2011 | (15:35)

For Libya to succeed in its transition, we are told repeatedly, we must learn the lessons of the failure to plan for the post-conflict phase in Iraq.

This claim is misleading and obscures the real lesson from Iraq. It is a matter of record that there was extensive planning...

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