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Profile of Edward McMillan-Scott

Edward McMillan-Scott comes from a farming and professional background. Born in Cambridge he was educated privately by the Dominican friars. At school he ran the debating society and the printing press.

As a young man he was a tour director with a US company, taking groups across Europe, the former Soviet Union - where he was briefly arrested for straying off the tourist path in Leningrad (now St Petersburg) - as well as Africa.

His father was an architect 
and his mother (right) was an active Conservative, and in 1967 he joined the Party. He was a busy branch member, and later became a branch chairman up to and through the 1983 General Election. 

In 1972 he married Henrietta (below centre). They have two daughters - Lucinda (l) born in 1973 and Arabella (r) born in 1976 - and three grand-daughters, Edie (r), Esme (l) and Sylvia (born 2012).


In 1975 he joined a large public relations firm and from 1976 specialised in governmental and parliamentary relations. Among his clients was the Falkland Islands Committee, set up to represent the islanders in the UK, which he worked for throughout the 1982 Argentine invasion.

In 1983 he set up his own Whitehall public affairs consultancy: he then represented the Falkand Islands Government and a number of commercial clients.

In 1984 he was elected to the European Parliament to represent the York Euro-constituency, which included most of the county of North Yorkshire and parts of North Lincolnshire.

He was re-elected in 1989 and 1994.

In 1999, 2004 and 2009 he was elected for the Yorkshire & Humber region under proportional representation: the seat had six MEPs.

From 1997 - 2001 he was leader of the 36 Conservative MEPs.

In 2004 he was elected as Vice-President of the European Parliament and was re-elected in 2007.

After the European election of 2009, David Cameron split from the mainstream Conservatives and Christian Democrat group in the European Parliament - the European Peoples' Party (EPP) and formed a controversial new nationalist ECR group, described by Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, as 'a bunch of homophobes, anti-Semites and climate-change deniers'. Edward protested, including standing successfully against the ECR nominee for Vice-President of the European Parliament, the former Polish MEP Michal Kaminski, who had a recent neo-Nazi past.

In March 2010 Edward joined the Liberal Democrats. In 2012 he was re-elected as Vice-President of the European Parliament and continued to hold the portfolio for Democracy & Human Rights and transatlantic relations.

In the May 2014 European Elections, Edward was not re-elected.

His hobbies are reading, classical music, conservation and modern art. 

About Edward

Edward was leader of the Conservative MEPs 1997 – 2001. A life-long pro-European, he opposed David Cameron's decision to remove his MEPs from the centre-right mainstream in order to form a controversial new alliance with a 'bunch of nutters, homophobes, anti-Semites and climate-change deniers' (Nick Clegg). He joined the Liberal Democrats in 2010 (pictured left being handed his Lib Dem membership card by Nick Clegg), having closely worked with them for years, especially on human rights and democracy. He described the Coalition as 'the happiest moment in my political life: Liberal Democrats have tamed the Conservative extremists'.

As Vice-President his portfolio included Democracy & Human Rights, and Transatlantic Relations. Internationally recognised and respected as a staunch defender of human rights, from dissidents in the ex-Soviet bloc to China and the Arab World, Edward lends his voice to the voiceless. He is pictured right co-hosting an EU-US Transatlantic Dialogue meeting with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

A frequent visitor to the Middle East, he has long advocated democratic reforms across the Arab world. He founded the €150 million European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), which promotes democracy and human rights worldwide, operating without host country consent.

Edward advocates civil liberties, fair elections, fair taxation, education reform and radical reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy. He stopped eating meat in 2008 to draw attention to climate change; ‘green’ and heritage issues are central to his agenda. He supports EU economic governance after the Euro crisis to sustain the EU’s Single Market – which has created 3.5 million jobs in the UK. A parent and grandparent, he campaigned for better child rights across the EU.