Ellie Chowns

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Ellie Chowns
Ellie Chowns (40507010863).png
Chowns in 2019
Member of the European Parliament
for West Midlands
In office
2 July 2019[1][2] – 31 January 2020
Preceded bySiôn Simon
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Born (1975-03-07) 7 March 1975 (age 47)
Political partyGreen Party

Eleanor Elizabeth "Ellie" Chowns (born 7 March 1975) is a British Green Party politician, who served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the West Midlands from 2019 to 2020.[3] She has been a councillor on Herefordshire Council since 2017, representing the Bishops Frome & Cradley ward, and is leader of the council's Green group.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Chowns studied geography, environmental studies, and development studies at the University of Sussex, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1997. She then undertook a one-year Master of Professional Studies (MProf) degree in sustainable development at the University of Middlesex, graduating in 1998. She later undertook doctoral research in international development at the University of Birmingham. She completed her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in 2014, with a doctoral thesis titled "The political economy of community management: a study of factors influencing sustainability in Malawi's rural water supply sector".[5][6]


She is a specialist in international development, having worked for charities such as Voluntary Service Overseas and Christian Aid and as a lecturer at the University of Birmingham.[5]

Political career[edit]

Chowns got involved in politics in 2015.[7] In 2017 she was elected as a councillor on Herefordshire Council, and became the leader of the Green group. She also stood in the general election in North Herefordshire, securing 5.5% of the vote.

In May 2019, Chowns was re-elected onto the Herefordshire Council, with 78.6% of the vote. Later in the month, Chowns was subsequently elected as an MEP in the 2019 European elections, winning 10.66% of the vote share. In the same election, the Green Party won 7 MEPs, up from 3.

Chowns stood as the Green candidate for North Herefordshire, a safe Conservative seat, in the December 2019 parliamentary election. She won 9.3% of the vote share, the 6th highest Green vote share in the country and the highest of any seat where there was no Unite to Remain alliance.[8]

Extinction Rebellion[edit]

Chowns was arrested on 14 October 2019 in Trafalgar Square defending the rights of Extinction Rebellion protesters to continue. She was released pending investigation,[9] and later was one of the claimants to challenge the legality of the Section 14 order under which she was arrested. On 6 November 2019 the High Court ruled this blanket use of Section 14 by the Metropolitan Police was unlawful.[10] Chowns declined to sue the Metropolitan Police for unlawful arrest, but declared the ruling to be a "victory for the right to peaceful assembly and protest, two cornerstones of our democracy".[11]

Private life[edit]

Chowns is a member of Giving What We Can, a community of people who have pledged to give at least 10% of their income to effective charities.[12]

Selected works[edit]

  • Chowns, Ellie (October 2015). "Is Community Management an Efficient and Effective Model of Public Service Delivery? Lessons from the Rural Water Supply Sector in Malawi" (PDF). Public Administration and Development. 35 (4): 263–276. doi:10.1002/pad.1737.


  1. ^ "Key dates ahead". European Parliament. 20 May 2017. Archived from the original on 25 May 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Key dates ahead". BBC News. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  3. ^ "The UK's European elections 2019". BBC News. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Councillor details - Councillor Ellie Chowns". Herefordshire Council. 27 May 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Dr Ellie Chowns". University of Birmingham. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  6. ^ Chowns, Eleanor (2014). "The political economy of community management: a study of factors influencing sustainability in Malawi's rural water supply sector". E-Thesis Online Service. The British Library Board. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Rebrick meets: Dr Ellie Chowns MEP". Rebrick. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Herefordshire North". BBC News. 13 December 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Plastic bag sales in England halved in past year". BBC News. 1 August 2019. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  10. ^ "Extinction Rebellion: High Court rules London protest ban unlawful". BBC News. 6 November 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  11. ^ "High Court rules against Met ban of protest". Ellie Chowns MEP. 11 November 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Members", www.givingwhatwecan.org