Richard is the Deputy Leader and Conservative Spokesman on Budgets. He 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 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.
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.