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Nirj Deva MEP

Assumed office 
10 June 1999
Preceded by (new constituency)

Member of Parliament
for Brentford and Isleworth
In office
9 April 1992 – 1 May 1997
Preceded by Barney Hayhoe
Succeeded by Ann Keen

Born May 11, 1948 (1948-05-11) (age 61)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Political party Conservative

Niranjan Joseph "Nirj" De Silva Deva-Aditya FRSA DL (born 11 May 1948) is a Sri Lankan-British politician. He is currently a Conservative Member of the European Parliament for South East England.


Family life

Deva was born in Sri Lanka to a leading family of Rajasthani (Indian) descent and is a Roman Catholic. He speaks Sinhalese and English, and is married to Indra—a French-speaking Mauritian—and has one son. He holds Sri Lankan and British citizenship.

Early career

He holds a degree in Aeronautical Engineering of Loughborough University, and was a Postgraduate Research Fellow in Economics at that university. He became Chairman in 1981 of the Bow Group (a leading British political think-tank), and initiated the Transatlantic Conferences between the Conservative Party (Bow Group) and the Republican Party/Heritage Foundation in Washington in 1981. He was a Member of the Council of the Royal Commonwealth Society 1976-80. He was appointed Chairman of the Department of Transport/National Consumer Council Committee on De-regulation of Air-Transport, whose Report was published by the UK Government in March 1986. This resulted in the low-fare airlines in Europe, which have brought affordable travel to millions.

In 1985 Nirj Deva became the first Asian-born person to be appointed by Queen Elizabeth II to the office of Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Greater London – a position which he holds for life. He is a Fellow of Britain’s Royal Society of Arts, President of the EU-India Chamber of Commerce and a Patron of the International Monarchist League. Deva has backed many important education and health issues - he is a staunch supporter of the Autism Awareness Campaign UK and in Sri Lanka.

British Parliament

In 1992 Deva became only the second Asian-born person to be elected a Member of the House of Commons and serve in the British Government. He was the Member of Parliament for the London constituency of Brentford and Isleworth, and was Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Scottish Office.

He was made political adviser to the Secretary of State for Transport, and a member of key Parliamentary Committees such as the Education Committee and the Parliamentary Ombudsman's Committee. He was defeated in the 1997 general election, losing to Labour candidate Ann Keen.

European Parliament

In 1999, Deva became the first Asian-born person to be elected as a Conservative member of the European Parliament where he represents South East England. He serves as coordinator on the Committee on Overseas Development and Cooperation and is a bureau member of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly. He is also a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.

In April 2005 he was chairman of the European Parliament’s delegation to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development in New York, and delivered a paper on the future of the United Nations at the US Council on Foreign Relations. A few months later, he headed the European Parliament's delegation to the UN High-Level Conference on global financing of aid. Also in 2005 he was Co-Chairman (with Michel Rocard, former Prime Minister of France) of the European Parliaments' Delegation to the World Summit at the United Nations 60th General Assembly.

He has established an online campaign calling for a referendum on the European Constitution ( and has recently launched an online survey asking the views of his constituents on the future of the EU (

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Barney Hayhoe
Member of Parliament for Brentford and Isleworth
Succeeded by
Ann Keen


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