Richard is the Conservative Spokesman on Agriculture and sits on the European Parliament's Agriculture committee. In addition, he sits on the Policy Challenges committee and the Budget's committee. He was Deputy Leader of the UK Conservative delegation to the European Parliament from November 2008 to November 2010 and served as Chief Whip from January to November 2007. He was first elected in the European elections of 2004 and was reelected in 2009.
Richard worked extensively in Canada and New Zealand before establishing a farming business in Sussex. He developed his own business processing and retailing dairy products, and subsequently became a founder director and was for some years the chairman of United Milk Plc.
He has been the chairman of NFU Corporate, the organisation that represents Britain's farmer controlled agri-business and co-operatives in London and Brussels. He has also been a member of the Minister of Agriculture's food chain advisory committee.
Richard was a candidate in the 1997 General Election (North Devon constituency) and also the 1999 European election (South East region). Richard has been a Conservative Association chairman and has also served on the Sussex county executive.
Richard was born in 1947 in Folkestone, Kent. He is married with three daughters. Richard was educated at The King's School, Canterbury and studied agriculture and management at Seale-Hayne College in Devon.
Richard has had a lifelong interest in further education and training. He has been the chairman of a further education college for a number of years as well as serving on several public bodies in the education sector. His interests include music, theatre, sport, aviation and country pursuits.