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.