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Neil Parish was elected Member of Parliament for Tiverton and Honiton on 6th May 2010. He is a member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, and is also Chairman of the Conservative Backbench Environment Policy Committee. Before entering politics, Neil managed the family farm in Somerset after leaving school at 16 years old.
Neil served as a Member of the European Parliament for the South West from June 1999 to 2009. In the European Parliament, Neil was the Chairman of the agriculture and rural development committee. During his time as Chairman he was reportedly described as a Rottweiler by David Miliband, the then Secretary of State for Defra, for his dogged persistence.
Neil has also acted as an election monitor during Zimbabwe's 2000 Presidential elections, where he criticised the conduct of Robert Mugabe's regime. During the 2008 Presidential election Neil Parish called on the British Government to reject the legitimacy of ZANU-PF and to recognise Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party as the democratically elected Government of Zimbabwe. Neil is still banned from re-entering the country after voicing his criticism.
One of Neil's passions is animal welfare, and he has led a number of campaigns including those against cruel bear bile farming in China, live animal exports to the Middle East, and a ban on wild animals in circuses. Neil is Chairman of the Associate Parliamentary Group on Animal Welfare.
Promoted by Alan Mabbutt on behalf of the Conservative Party, both at 30 Millbank, London, SW1P 4DP