Neil Parish was elected as the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Tiverton and Honiton in May 2010 with 50.3% of the popular vote. At the 2015 General Election he was re-elected with an increased majority and 54.0% of the vote. In 2017, he increased his share of the vote to 61.4%. Following the 2019 election, Neil has a majority of 24,239.
Before entering politics, Neil was a farmer in his native Somerset and still lives on the family farm to this day. Prior to entering Parliament, Neil was a Member of the European Parliament for the South West of England. Before that time, he was a local councillor. Throughout his time in politics, at all levels, Neil’s focus has always been standing up for residents and being a strong voice for the countryside.
Throughout his first term as an MP, Neil worked on a broad range of farming and rural affairs issues. Neil sat on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee during his first term. In addition to this, he was Chair of the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare from 2010 to 2015 and he also established three farming All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs). These were the Beef and Lamb APPG, the Eggs, Pigs and Poultry APPG and the Dairy APPG.
In July 2014, Neil was selected to be Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Rt Hon John Hayes MP’s, the then Minister of State for Transport. This allowed him to liaise regularly with Ministers at the Department for Transport and raise key transport issues, such as the upgrading of the road network in Devon and the South West.
Upon his re-election in 2015, Neil was elected as Chair of the EFRA Select Committee. This follows on from Neil’s experience in the European Parliament, where he was Chair of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. In his first term as EFRA Chair, Neil has led inquiries into flood prevention, air quality and the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.
In 2017, Neil was re-elected as Chair of the EFRA Select Committee for the course of the Parliament. He led inquiries on plastic waste, air quality, and major Government Bills including the Agriculture and Environment Bills.
Neil also takes a very keen interest in animal welfare and launched a select committee inquiry into the treatment of domestic pets, including cats, dogs and horses. The EFRA Committee has also submitted a report to Government on the treatment of greyhounds in the racing industry.
Neil’s other interests include the politics of Africa. During the 2000 Presidential elections in Zimbabwe, he acted as an election monitor and criticised the conduct of Robert Mugabe’s regime. In 2008, Neil called on the British Government to reject the legitimacy of the ZANU-PF government and to recognise Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party as the democratically-elected Government of Zimbabwe. Following this, Robert Mugabe banned Neil from re-entering the country. The ban remains in place to this day.
Neil is married to Sue and has two children and two grandchildren.
You can download Neil's Declaration of Interests below.