Giles Chichester

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Giles Chichester
Member of the European Parliament
for South West England
In office
10 June 1999 – 26 May 2014
Succeeded by Molly Scott Cato
Member of the European Parliament
for Devon and East Plymouth
In office
1994–1999
Succeeded by Constituency abolished
Personal details
Born (1946-07-29) 29 July 1946 (age 72)
London, United Kingdom
Political party Conservative
Residence Devon, United Kingdom
Alma mater Westminster School
Christ Church, Oxford

Giles Bryan Chichester (born 29 July 1946) is a British Conservative Party politician, and was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for South West England and Gibraltar before retiring in 2014. He was elected as Vice-President of the European Parliament on 6 July 2011 to replace Silvana Koch-Mehrin who had resigned over plagiarism allegations.

Chichester was born in London and educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford. Since 1969 He has worked in family business Francis Chichester Ltd (publishers of maps, guides and educational wallcharts), founded by his father Sir Francis Chichester KBE, and still lives in the family home at 9 St James's Place, London SW1.

He was MEP for Devon and East Plymouth from 1994 to 1999 and has represented South West England in the European Parliament since 1999. On 23 July 2004 he was elected chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Industry, Research and Energy.

He is a former Chairman of the Carlton Club Political Committee and is chairman of his family business publishing maps.

Chichester describes himself as a "climate change sceptic".[1]

Expenses[edit]

On 5 June 2008, Chichester voluntarily stepped down as Leader of the Conservative MEPs in order to clear his name after it was alleged that since 1996 he had wrongly sent European parliamentary funds for secretarial and office services through his family business of which he was a paid director: he was succeeded by his deputy, Philip Bushill-Matthews. Chichester insisted it was his understanding that the contract had been accepted by the EU Parliament in 1999 and in 2004, and that he transferred money for his political staff through the company simply as an easier means of administration.[2][3] The European Parliament suggested that a change in the Financial Regulation in 2003 meant this arrangement could constitute a potential conflict of interest.

The situation arose while as Leader of the Conservative MEPs Cameron had tasked Chichester to review and compile a code of conduct for Conservative MEPs' expenses after the embarrassment of MP Derek Conway. However, Chichester admitted that once he had been told the contract was not in order he cancelled it immediately and described it as a "whoopsy-daisy" surprise to him.[3] In September 2008 after a painstakingly detailed audit process by the European Parliament authorities Chichester received a letter from the Secretary General which cleared him of any conflict of interest whatever, and confirmed that all funds had been fully accounted for and applied to the purpose intended and that he had received no personal benefit. Accordingly David Cameron never withdrew the party whip from him as he did with the former Conservative MP Derek Conway. Chichester remained as a Conservative MEP but not their leader.

Chichester stood again successfully for re-election as an MEP in 2009, and his subsequent appointment as a Vice-President of the Parliament was regarded as a further and very public vindication of his position. He remained a prominent and active Conservative MEP until his retirement in 2014.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "TORY GIB MEP CRITICISES UK GOVT 'SPIN' ON CLIMATE". The Gibraltar Chronicle. 9 December 2011. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
  2. ^ Charter, David; Elliott, Francis; Kennedy, Dominic (6 June 2008). "David Cameron forces resignation of Giles Chichester after expenses scandal". Times Online. Retrieved 17 February 2010. Mr Cameron welcomed publicly the decision of Giles Chichester the MEP who admitted to breaking European Parliament rules by channeling £445,000 of allowances through a family company.
  3. ^ a b "Chichester Resigns As Tory MEP Leader". Sky News. 5 June 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2010. But the ex Tory MEP chairman was then forced to admit to a "whoops-a-daisy" moment when he apparently failed to spot a flaw in his own arrangements.[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]

European Parliament
New constituency Member of European Parliament for South West England and Gibraltar
20042014
Incumbent
New constituency Member of European Parliament for South West England
19992004
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of European Parliament for Devon and East Plymouth
19941999
Constituency abolished