Richard Ashworth - Deputy Leader and Conservative Spokesman on Budgets
Tel: 01444 474858 / Fax: 01444 416201 / 5 Hazelgrove Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3PH
Richard was born in 1947 in Folkestone, Kent. He is married with three daughters. Richard was educated at The King’s School, Canterbury and studied agriculture and management at Seale-Hayne College in Devon.
Richard has had a lifelong interest in further education and training. He has been the chairman of a further education college for a number of years as well as serving on several public bodies in the education sector. His interests include music, theatre, sport, aviation and country pursuits.
Richard Ashworth's Experience
Richard was elected Conservative MEP for the South East Region in 2004. He was Chief Whip of the Conservatives in the European Parliament from January to November 2007 and also from June to November 2008. He is Conservative Spokesman on Budgets in the European Parliament. He was PPS to Jonathan Evans MEP from July to December 2004. He is a member of the Budgets Committee, and a substitute member of the Employment & Social Affairs Committee.
Richard worked extensively in Canada and New Zealand before establishing a farming business in Sussex. He developed his own business processing and retailing dairy products, and subsequently became a founder director and was for some years the chairman of United Milk Plc.
He has been the chairman of NFU Corporate, the organisation that represents Britain’s farmer controlled agri-business and co-operatives in London and Brussels. He has also been a member of the Minister of Agriculture’s food chain advisory committee.
Richard was a candidate in the 1997 General Election (North Devon constituency) and also the 1999 European election (South East region). Richard has been a Conservative Association chairman and has also served on the Sussex county executive.
Nirj Deva - Vice-Chairman of the European Parliament's Development Committee and Conservative Spokesman on Development
Nirj was educated at St Joseph's Catholic College, Colombo and Loughborough University. He has been an aeronautical Engineer, Scientist and a Company Chairman and Director from 1997-99. He was a Member of Parliament, Brentford & Isleworth, from 1992-97.
He was PPS to Minister of State, Scottish Office, 1996-97. Since 1985, he has been a HM Deputy Lieutenant for the Lord Lieutenancy of London. He was Chairman of the Bow Group in 1981 and on the Council of the Royal Commonwealth Society from 1976-80. He was a Special Advisor for Ethnic Affairs to the Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP.
His interests include voluntary work for St John's Ambulance Brigade and writing. He was born in 1948 and is married with one child.
James Elles -Conservative Spokesman on Budgets
James Elles has been a Member of the European Parliament since 1984. Born in September 1949, he graduated from Edinburgh University with a BSc (Hons) in agriculture. He became an MEP after an eight-year career as a civil servant with the European Commission, initially as a Tokyo Round negotiator and latterly as Assistant to the Deputy Director General of Agriculture.
Now in his sixth parliamentary term, James is the longest serving member of the European Parliament's Budgets Committee, having been a member for the past 26 years. James is also a substitute member of the EU-US delegation.
He was rapporteur (the person appointed to steer a measure through Parliament) for the 1996 and 2007 budgets which prioritised a "value for money" approach. Recognised for his key role in the downfall of the Santer Commission in 1999, his action in this affair was summed up by the European Parliament's newsletter: "James Elles has become the unsung hero of Parliament's challenge to the Commission, the man who was in at the birth and the kill of the two-year campaign to establish Parliament's authority over the way public money is spent."
Internationally, James has always shown a deep interest in how the changing international situation affects Britain. In 1992 he founded the Transatlantic Policy Network (TPN). The purpose of TPN is to help build bridges between the EU and US involving business and policy-makers on both sides of the Atlantic, feeding in ideas, for example, to create the new transatlantic agenda (NTA) and, more, recently putting forward suggestions to strengthen transatlantic partnership through the completion of the transatlantic market. From December 1992, to December 1999, he was the first chairman of TPN. He resumed chairmanship of the network in 2009. More details on TPN on www.tpnonline.org
In 2000, the European Internet Foundation (EIF) was launched by James and two other parliamentarians as co-founders. The purpose of the European Internet Foundation is to help encourage European political leadership in the development of active public policies that respond to the political, economic and social challenges of the worldwide digital revolution. The EIF aims to ensure that the European Union remains open to developments in the digital economy and benefits fully from it, through enhanced global competitiveness and social progress. More details on EIF on www.eifonline.org.
In the same year, he was also the driving force in the establishment of the European Parliament's All-Party Group on Kashmir (APGK), of which he is chairman. This reflects the substantial Kashmiri community based in the Thames Valley. Working with the Kashmir Centre in Brussels, the APGK has staged four Global Discourses on Kashmir, bringing together those most interested, not only Pakistanis and Indians, but principally Kashmiris.
In August 2002, James founded the European Ideas Network (EIN). It is an innovative and exciting new kind of body: an open network think-tank on a European scale. This is a tangible example of James's commitment to greater involvement in policy making by Party members and the wider public. He stepped down as Chairman of the Network in March 2008. The development of the EIN can be monitored on its website, accessible at www.ein.eu
A linguist, speaking French, Italian and some German, James is chairman of the European Parliament's Golfing Society. Outside politics, his interests include running, music and gardening. James Elles has a home in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, as well as in Brussels.
Daniel Hannan has been Conservative MEP for the South East of England since 1999. Local Conservatives voted him to the top of the regional list for the 2004 and 2009 European elections.
He is Secretary-General of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists - the only bloc in Brussels that campaigns against closer integration.
In March 2009, Daniel’s speech in the European Parliament attacking Gordon Brown attracted one-and-a-half million views within 72 hours, and went on to become the most watched political clip in British history.
This year, Daniel has been awarded the prize for International Legislator of the Year by the American Legislative Exchange Council, and Speech of the Year by the Spectator magazine.
Daniel is the author of seven books about the EU and, more recently, of The Plan: Twelve Months to Renew Britain, which has become the best selling political tract in Britain, and which sets out a comprehensive platform for the decentralisation of power. He writes for The Daily Telegraph, The Mail on Sunday and The Spectator, and blogs every day at www.hannan.co.uk. His blog attracts 200,000 hits a week from 80,000 unique users. In 2009, his blog won the Bastiat Prize for Online Journalism.
Daniel speaks French and Spanish and loves Europe, but believes that the EU is making us poorer, less democratic and less free. He wants to take powers back from Brussels, and then to pass them down to local councils or, better yet, individual citizens.