John Longworth (businessman)

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John Longworth
John Longworth 2019.jpg
Member of the European Parliament
for Yorkshire and the Humber
In office
2 July 2019[1][2] – 31 January 2020
Preceded byJane Collins
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Born (1958-05-14) 14 May 1958 (age 61)
Bolton, Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Political partyConservative (since 2020)[3]
Other political
Independent (2019-2020)
Brexit (2019)
EducationSmithills School
Alma materUniversity of Salford

John Longworth (born 14 May 1958) is a British business consultant and politician. He was the director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce from September 2011 until March 2016, when he departed in controversy by breaking with the organisation's line on Brexit on the day of its conference.

Longworth is the chairman of Leave Means Leave.[4] He was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Yorkshire and the Humber from 2019 to 2020.

Early life[edit]

John Longworth was born in May 1958,[5] and educated at Smithills School, Bolton, followed by bachelor's and master's degrees from University of Salford.[6][7] He is a chartered company secretary and has a postgraduate certificate in microbiology.


A media commentator and writer, he now advises organisations in the financial sector and others and is on the Advisory Councils of Hottinger Group, the Institute of Economic Affairs and the Advisory Board of Economists for Free Trade.[citation needed][8]

In March 2016, he became the only leader of a major business group, the BCC, to back leaving the EU. Since this went against the position the BCC and its members had agreed to take on the referendum he was suspended as Director General. He subsequently resigned and volunteered to lead the business campaign to leave the EU, as chairman of the Vote Leave Business Council and is now chairman of Leave Means Leave, a lobby group set up to promote a hard Brexit.[9] [10][11] In October 2017, Longworth and Richard Tice, Treasurer and Vice Chairman of Leave Means Leave, were jointly placed at Number 90 on the list of 'The Top 100 Most Influential on the Right'.[12]

Political career[edit]

On 15 April 2019, he announced he would be standing as a candidate for the Brexit Party.[13] In the 2019 European Parliament election, he was elected a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Yorkshire and the Humber. Since July 2019, he has been a member of the European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and of the European Parliament Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.[14] He was expelled from the Brexit Party and lost the party whip in December 2019 for "repeatedly undermining their general election strategy."[15]


He has an honorary doctorate from the private BPP University.[16]


  1. ^ "Key dates ahead". European Parliament. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Key dates ahead". BBC News. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Chairmen - Political Advisory Board - Supporters, Leave Means Leave, archived from the original on 24 October 2017, retrieved 8 December 2017
  5. ^ "John LONGWORTH - Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)". Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  6. ^ Armitstead, Louise (21 September 2011). "New BCC boss John Longworth has been 'preparing for this role for 30 years'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  7. ^ "British Chambers of Commerce - John Longworth". Retrieved 3 March 2016.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "John Longworth". The Hottinger Group. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  9. ^ "EU referendum: British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) boss John Longworth says Brexit would make Britain better off out of the EU". City A.M. London. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  10. ^ Ross, Tim (23 August 2000). "Exclusive: BCC head John Longworth accuses David Cameron of peddling scare stories as part of "project fear"". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  11. ^ Rebecca Ratcliffe; Rajeev Syal (7 March 2016). "EU referendum: John Longworth resigns as commerce boss over Brexit debate". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  12. ^ Dale, Iain (2 October 2017). "The Top 100 Most Influential People On The Right: Iain Dale's 2017 List". LBC. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  13. ^ Longworth, John (14 April 2019). "Why I'm standing for the Brexit Party" – via
  14. ^ "John LONGWORTH - 9th parliamentary term". European Parliament. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  15. ^ Heffer, Greg (4 December 2019). "General election: Brexit Party MEP John Longworth expelled for 'undermining' strategy". Sky News. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  16. ^ "Businessman who quit role over Brexit to speak at University". Retrieved 4 December 2018.

External links[edit]