Welcome to the official website of Clare Short, home of her collected articles, interviews, speeches and correspondence from across her twenty-seven years as MP for Birmingham Ladywood and details of her work since leaving Parliament.


Recent posts

Britain’s legal advice on the Gaza war should be published

It really is not good enough for Labour to call for the legal advice on Israel’s war on Gaza to be published, and not commit ...
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/ Letters

Israel-Palestine and international law

Clare sent the letter below to the Financial Times. It was not published. With all the hand wringing about long-term solutions to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, ...
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/ Israel-Palestine, Letters

Clare signatory to IHRC letter calling for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

Clare has joined 300 international activists, politicians, academics and religious figures in signing an open letter to the UN Secretary General calling for an immediate ...
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/ Blog, Israel-Palestine

Clare podcast appearance

This week Clare appeared on the It's Bloody Complicated podcast produced by Compass. You can listen to the podcast here ...
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/ Blog

Is Keir Starmer misremembering Labour’s 1997 victory? I was there, and we were radical

All seems well. The Tories are a mess and the Labour party is consistently ahead in the polls. The party’s thumping byelection victory in Rutherglen and ...
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/ Articles, Labour Party

Clare guest on Independent Thinking podcast discussing Iraq twenty years after the invasion

Clare recently appeared on the Independent Thinking podcast produced by Chatham House. She discussed the consequences of the invasion of Iraq, twenty years on. You ...
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/ Blog, Iraq

Clare Short looks back on Iraq

Clare recently appeared on Not the Andrew Marr Show discussing her memories of the build-up to the invasion and reflecting on the consequences of the war ...
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/ Blog, Iraq

Clare guest on Intelligence Squared podcast

Clare was recently a guest on the podcast Iraq: Legacy of War produced by Intelligence Squared. The episode explores Britain's entry into the conflict and can be ...
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/ Blog, Iraq

About Clare

Clare was born in Birmingham in 1946. Prior to entering Parliament, she worked in the Home Office as a civil servant (1970-75). She became MP for Birmingham Ladywood in 1983, occupying the following positions in Labour’s frontbench team: Shadow Minister for Women (1993-5), Shadow Secretary of State for Transport (1995-6) and Opposition Spokesperson for Overseas Development (1996-7). In addition Clare served as a member of Labour’s National Executive Council (1998-1997).

When Labour returned to government in 1997, Clare was appointed the first Secretary of State for International Development.

Clare resigned from the government in 2003 in protest of the UK’s involvement in the Iraq War. She continued to serve as a backbench Labour MP until she resigned the Labour whip in 2006.

Clare left parliamentary politics in 2010 and went on to work with a number of institutions committed to international development. Between 2011 and 2016 Clare served as Chair of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the global standard for the transparent governance of oil, gas, and mineral resources across the world. 

Read Clare’s full biography.

Popular content

Women with linked arms surrounding nuclear test plant.

Women and civil disobedience.

The most famous women's movement committed to civil disobedience in the UK, prior to the Greenham Common Women, were the Suffragettes. They became frustrated at ...
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/ Essays, feminism
Two large piles of documents in black and white.

Chilcot is longer than the Harry Potter books put together.

My first glimpse of Clare Short’s face across the hotel lobby sparks a rush of the sort of affection ordinarily reserved for a much-loved, long-lost ...
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/ Chilcot Report, Interviews, Iraq
Piles of cash notes.

How can the international community do more to tackle corruption?

Prefatory Note On 27th September 2015 I received a letter from David Cameron thanking me for agreeing to contribute a chapter to a book he ...
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The face of an anguished child within a human eye.

Aid: moral duty or national self-interest?

Today I want to discuss the ethics behind our international development policy. If I ask, is it is our moral duty to reach out to ...
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The forces shaping radical politics today.

Introduction We need to begin by clarifying what we mean by radical politics. It is often assumed that radical politics are progressive politics and tend ...
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/ economics, environment, Essays, UK Politics
Tower of London about to be hit by large tsunami wave.

Apocalypse now: global equity and sustainable living.

It is notable, that for much of human history, people have thought that they faced an apocalyptical challenge.40% of Americans currently say that they believe ...
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Two hands reaching out from cells to grasp each other one. One sleeve displays the Irish tricolour, the other sleeve displays the Palestinian flag.

Irish terrorism and Irish peace.

On Thursday 21 November 1974, bombs exploded within minutes of each other in two Birmingham city centre pubs. Bodies and body parts were blasted across ...
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/ Articles, Irish Politics, terrorism
Middle Eastern refugees queuing.

The dangers of a broken multilateral system in a divided world.

These are depressing times. But the situation is not hopeless. There are ways of managing all the threats we face. The problem is that the ...
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Current work

Since leaving Parliament Clare has worked as chair of many non-governmental advocacy groups, working with communities across the developing world on the following issues.



Mass urbanisation is one of the defining issues of our times. By 2030 two-thirds of the global population will be living in cities yet the vast majority of city dwellers in the developing world live in slums, without access to proper housing and basic infrastructure and services.

Whilst the mismanagement of urban regions contributes to systemic global inequality, in economic terms, urbanisation tends to promote growth. Clare works with the Cities Alliance and other advocacy groups for slum-dwellers to campaign for improvements in urban policy and planning so that cities can serve as poles for international development in the global south.

Read Clare’s work on urbanisation.

Consequences of climate change

The catastrophic effects of climate change and man-made environmental degradation are already being registered. In the developing world, lack of adequate public infrastructure and investment means that the poor will suffer most.

Following the work of environmental theorist, Lester Brown, Clare believes that our failure to act to create a more effective global system could lead to a very ugly future, as millions are displaced as a result of climate change, more states collapse into weakness and disorder and wars are fought over water and oil. Clare argues that we must face up to the reality of this dreadful prospect so that we determine to redouble our efforts to avoid such a future.

Read Clare’s work on the environment.

Transparency in the extractive industries

Developing countries often possess vast natural resources but are poorer than comparable states which lack these resources. During her tenure as Chair of the EITI (2011-2016), Clare worked to encourage governments and corporations to make public details of their transactions with the extractive industry and their management of natural resources.

Read Clare’s work on extractive transparency.


Throughout her career Clare has remained a committed advocate of Palestinian self-determination and emancipation, and has worked with numerous charities and organisations committed to improving living conditions in the occupied territories. Clare believes that a two-state solution to the conflict is becoming impossible because of Israel’s ongoing settlement policy, militarism and undermining of international law.

Read Clare’s work on Israel-Palestine.

Clare works with the following organisations.

Clare is Chair of the Cities Alliance, a global partnership formed jointly by the World Bank and the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements.

The Alliance aims to reduce urban poverty in the developing world and to promote the role of cities in advancing sustainable development.

Clare is a patron of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. The ICAHD is an Israeli advocacy group dedicated to non-violent direct action against the demolition of Palestinian homes in the Occupied Territories. It campaigns in support of human rights in the region and seeks to educate the UK public about the realities of life for Palestinians within Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.
Clare is Trustee of Africa Humanitarian Action, an organisation led and staffed by Africans which was established in 1994 in response to the atrocities of the Rwandan genocide. The AHA continues to provide humanitarian assistance to refugees, internally displaced persons and local communities across Africa.