|Member of Parliament
for Tiverton and Honiton
6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Angela Browning|
|Member of the European Parliament
for South West England
20 July 1999 – 14 July 2009
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Julie Girling|
26 May 1956 |
Bridgwater, Somerset, England
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 Miliband, 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.
Parish was elected Member of Parliament for Tiverton and Honiton on 6 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 being elected MP, Parish 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 and the Natural England.
Parish was elected by Conservative backbenchers as Chairman of the 1922 Backbench Environment Policy Committee on Wednesday 20 July 2010. The Policy Committee plays a significant role both in policy formation and acting as a channel of communication between backbenchers and ministers.
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.
July 2012 Parish relaunched and was elected Chairman of both the All Party Parliamentary Group on Beef and Lamb and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Pig and Poultry. The purpose of these two separate groups is to ensure Parliamentarians are briefed by industry experts on the latest developments in the industry, including supply chains, exports, sustainability, health and nutrition. 
He is married and has two children.
- "The Zimbabwe banned list".
- "The rottweiler: Neil Parish".