MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber
Richard was elected to the European Parliament in 2014 having previously served from 1996 to 2009. Prior to being an MEP, he worked in the voluntary sector and then as a civil servant, after having gained a BA at Oxford and a PhD at Hull.
Richard is the Leader of the EPLP. Previously, he has taken a leading role on EU reform, with a number of successes, and was Parliament’s rapporteur on the Lisbon Treaty. With his Labour colleagues, he worked on legislation to secure many hundreds of changes and improvements, giving the Single Market common rules to protect consumers, workers and the environment.
He was an active member of the all-party animal welfare group, and helped set up the campaign to limit the transport of live animals across Europe for slaughter. Richard was a member of the trade union MEP group, helping to secure breakthroughs in European social legislation and protection of workers.
Since 2009, Richard has continued to work and write on European affairs, including two university textbooks: “The European Union: How Does it Work?” and “The European Parliament”, now in its eighth edition. He spent two months in Dublin to help the Irish Labour Party in the referendum campaign on the Lisbon treaty; he was national chair of the Labour Movement for Europe, and wrote a number of papers on Europe for the Labour leadership in the UK; and he has been an advisor to Herman Van Rompuy, whose task it is to chair the meetings of the European Council.
Richard has also continued to lecture on European matters in universities and elsewhere. In November 2012, Richard was voted by a panel of journalists, academics, retired diplomats, and think-tankers as the fourth most influential Briton on EU policy, ahead of the Prime Minister.