- Neil Parish
Neil Parish MP Member of Parliament
for Tiverton and Honiton
Incumbent Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Angela Browning Majority 9,320 (17%) Member of the European Parliament
for South West England and Gibraltar
20 July 1999 – 14 July 2009
Personal details Born 26 May 1956
Bridgwater, Somerset, England
Nationality British Political party Conservative Spouse(s) Susan Parish
Neil Quentin Gordon Parish (born 26 May 1956) is a British Conservative Party politician. He is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tiverton and Honiton, elected at the 2010 general election. He had been a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for South West England from 1999 to 2009.
Prior to beginning his career in politics, Parish managed his family's farm in Somerset. He began his career in local government, serving as a Parish, District and County Councillor. In the 1997 general election he contested Pontypool in Wales. He was soundly defeated by 24,536 votes.
Parish acted as an election monitor during Zimbabwean parliamentary election, 2000, where he criticised the conduct of Robert Mugabe's regime. During the 2008 Presidential election Neil Parish called on the British Government to reject the legitimacy of ZANU-PF and to recognise Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party as the democratically elected Government of Zimbabwe. Neil is still banned from re-entering the country after voicing his criticism.
For his entire career in the European Parliament he was a member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. From January 2007 to July 2009 he was Chairman of the Committee. In December 2001, he was appointed Conservative spokesman on agriculture and he was also the delegation's deputy chief whip. He was instrumental in setting up the year long European Parliament's public Inquiry into the Foot and Mouth Outbreak and he is also a member of the European Parliament's inquiry into the collapse of Equitable Life. He also served as a substitute member on the Committee on Fisheries.
During his time as Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, it was reported that David Milliband, at the time the Secretary of State for DEFRA, had described Neil Parish as a "Rottweiler" for his dogged persistence.
In February 2007 Parish was selected as the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Tiverton and Honiton. The seat was previously held by the Conservative Angela Browning who is retiring. Parish did not stand for re-election in the 2009 European Parliament election.
Neil Parish was elected Member of Parliament for Tiverton and Honiton on the 6th of May 2010. The Conservative vote was 3.6 per cent up, with Mr Parish attracting 27,614 votes - a 50.3 per cent share of the overall votes cast. He won with a majority of 9,320 votes.
In June 2010, weeks into be elected MP, Neil was elected by his fellow MPs onto the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee. The committee is elected by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and its associated public bodies including the Environment Agency, Natural England and the Commission for Rural Communities.
Neil Parish was elected by Conservative backbenchers as Chairman of the 1922 Backbench Environment Policy Committee on Wednesday 20th July 2010. The Policy Committees play a significant role both in policy formation and acting as a channel of communication between backbenchers and ministers.
Neil Parish is currently the Chairman of the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare. The Group's purpose is to raise awareness of animal welfare issues amongst Parliamentarians.
He is married to Sue and they have two children, Jonathan and Harriet Parish.
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