|Member of the European Parliament
for South West England
10 June 1999
|Preceded by||Position established|
29 July 1946 |
London, United Kingdom
|Residence||Devon, United Kingdom|
Giles Chichester (born 29 July 1946) is a British Conservative Party politician, and a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for South West England and Gibraltar. He was elected as a temporary 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. Since 1969 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
On 5 June 2008, Chichester stepped down as Leader of the Conservative MEPs, 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 insists the contract was accepted by the EU Parliament 1999 and in 2004, he transferred money for his political staff through the company as an easier means of administration.23 The European Parliament suggested that a change in the Financial Regulation in 2003 meant this arrangement constituted a potential conflict of interest.
David Cameron did not withdraw the party whip from him as he did with the former Conservative MP Derek Conway who then sat as an Independent. Chichester remained as a Conservative MEP but not their leader and was replaced by his deputy, Philip Bushill-Matthews. The revelation came 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 Derek Conway. However, Chichester admitted he had been told the contract was not in order so 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, confirmed that all funds had been applied to the purpose intended and that he had received no personal benefit.
- "TORY GIB MEP CRITICISES UK GOVT 'SPIN' ON CLIMATE". The Gibraltar Chronicle. 9 December 2011. Archived from the original on 9 December 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
- 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."
- "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."
- Profile on European Parliament website
- CHICHESTER, Giles Bryan, Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, 2013; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2012
|New constituency||Member of European Parliament for South West England and Gibraltar
|New constituency||Member of European Parliament for South West England
|New constituency||Member of European Parliament for Devon and East Plymouth