Philip Bushill-Matthews

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Philip Bushill-Matthews
Member of the European Parliament
for West Midlands
In office
10 June 1999 – 4 June 2009
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Anthea McIntyre[a]
Personal details
Born Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Political party Conservative
Occupation Politician
a. ^ Office vacant from 4 June 2009 – 30 November 2011

Philip Bushill-Matthews (born 15 January 1943 in Droitwich) was a British politician and was a Conservative Member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands.


After a management career with several food manufacturing businesses which culminated in an appointment as Managing Director of Red Mill Snack Foods Ltd in the Black Country and Red Mill Company BV, the Netherlands, he was first elected to the European Parliament in 1999. In addition to his position as MEP, he was a former leader of the Conservative group in Brussels.[1]

Having been elected Deputy Leader of the Conservative MEPs in November 2007, in June 2008 Bushill-Matthews was elected Leader after Giles Chichester chose to step down in order to clear his name following allegations of withdrawing parliamentary funds for private use.[2] During his leadership he put in place a 'Right to Know' system whereby Conservative MEPs openly declared their expenses on line. Conservative Central Office described him as "a safe pair of hands".[citation needed]

He was appointed Conservative Spokesman for Employment & Social Affairs following his first election as an MEP, and held this position for ten years. In 2007 he was also elected Co-ordinator for Employment and Social Affairs for the Group of the European People's Party and European Democrats. His aim was to ensure that EU legislation was proportionate and realistic, and employment opportunities helped not hindered in the process. He was instrumental in preserving the UK individual opt-out from the Working Time Directive and promoting Corporate Social Responsibility as voluntary.

He did not submit his name for reselection at the 2009 European elections and stood down as MEP in June 2009. In 2011 he was appointed a Non-Executive Director of the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, and elected Vice-Chairman in 2012.

Bushill-Matthews is the author of 'The Gravy Train' published in 2003 and 'Who Rules Britannia?' in 2005. In 2016 his third book, 'The Eras of La Gomera' is awaiting publication.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.



  • 1965: Joined Unilever
  • 1976: Seconded to Thomas Lipton Inc., U.S.
  • 1977: National Accounts Director, Birds Eye Sales Ltd
  • 1980: Managing Director, Iglo Indústrias de Gelados, Lisbon
  • 1981: Sales Director, Birds Eye Wall's Ltd
  • 1988: Managing Director, Craigmillar Ltd, and Director, Van den Bergh and Jurgens Ltd
  • 1991: Managing Director, Red Mill Snack Foods Ltd, Wednesbury, West Midlands, and Managing Director, Red Mill Company BV, Netherlands
  • 1999: Conservative MEP, European Parliament ; and Conservative Spokesman for Employment & Social Affairs, European Parliament
  • 2003: Author of 'The Gravy Train'
  • 2005: Author of 'Who Rules Britannia?'
  • 2007: Deputy Leader of Conservative MEPs, European Parliament
  • 2007: Co-ordinator for Employment and Social Affairs for European Peoples' Party and European Democrats
  • 2008: Leader of Conservative MEPs
  • 2011: Non-Executive Director of the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust
  • 2012: Vice-Chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust
  • 2016: Author of 'The Eras of La Gomera'



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