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Giles Chichester

In office
1994 – Incumbent
Constituency 1st seat, South West England

Born 29 July 1946 (1946-07-29) (age 63)
London, United Kingdom
Political party Conservative
Residence Devon, United Kingdom

Giles Chichester (born 29 July 1946) is a British politician, and Conservative Member of the European Parliament for South West England and Gibraltar.

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.

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.[2][3] 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 now sits 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.

Offices Held

European Parliament
Preceded by
new constituency
Member of European Parliament for South West England and Gibraltar
Preceded by
new constituency
Member of European Parliament for South West England
Succeeded by
constituency abolished
Preceded by
Member of European Parliament for Devon and East Plymouth
Succeeded by
constituency abolished


  1. ^ "TORY GIB MEP CRITICISES UK GOVT ‘SPIN’ ON CLIMATE". The Gibraltar Chronicle. 09-12-11. Archived from the original on 09-12-11. Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  2. ^ 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." 
  3. ^ a b "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." 

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