David has been deeply involved in public policy over many years. Much of this relates to financial markets. For example he was a member of the cross party the Future of Banking Commission, chaired by David Davis MP. He was a member of the Sharman Inquiry on accounting standards.
His first foray in public service was as a Labour Councillor, and lead opposition spokesperson on finance on Westminster City Council. He was deeply involved in exposing the “Westminster Scandals”.
During the 80’s and 90’s he led the Labour Finance and Industry Group in helping the Labour Party understand the business community. In 1996 he was a member of the Literacy Task Force, led by Michael Barber, which ultimately resulted in a dramatic improvement in literacy outcome amongst primary pupils.
From 1997-99 he was finance director of the Labour Party. During his tenure the party greatly improved its financial position. It sponsored legislation on party finance aimed at increased transparency, and limiting the amount of money that could be spent by political parties. 1 His view was that political parties needed not just to be election machines, but also elements in creating effective representative democracy.
He has been deeply involved in charitable work. In addition to his work for the RSA, he was trustee and chair of the investment committee at NESTA, the innovation charity. He was trustee and Honorary Treasurer of Oxfam from 2011-2017. He chaired Speaker’s Corner Trust—a charity dedicated to free speech. And he is a trustee of IPPR, the leading progressive think tank.