Edward McMillan-Scott

Edward Hugh Christian McMillan-Scott (born 15 August 1949) is a British politician. He was a pro-EU Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Yorkshire and the Humber constituency from 1984 until 2014. He was Leader of then 36 Conservative MEPs 1997–2001 and was elected four times as European Parliament Vice-President between 2004 and 2014. His main portfolio was Human Rights and Democracy.

Edward McMillan-Scott
Eighth Vice-President of the European Parliament
In office
17 January 2012  1 July 2014
PresidentMartin Schulz
Preceded byIsabelle Durant
Succeeded bySylvie Guillaume
Twelfth Vice-President of the European Parliament
In office
14 July 2009  17 January 2012
PresidentJerzy Buzek
Preceded byDiana Wallis
Succeeded byOldřich Vlasák
Fourth Vice-President of the European Parliament
In office
30 July 2004  14 July 2009
PresidentJosep Borrell
Hans-Gert Pöttering
Succeeded byMiguel Ángel Martínez Martínez
Leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament
In office
16 September 1997  14 December 2001
Preceded byTom Spencer
Succeeded byJonathan Evans
Parliamentary offices
Member of the European Parliament
for Yorkshire and the Humber
In office
10 June 1999  2 July 2014
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byJane Collins
Member of the European Parliament
for North Yorkshire
In office
9 June 1994  10 June 1999
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Member of the European Parliament
for York
In office
14 June 1984  9 June 1994
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Born (1949-08-15) 15 August 1949 (age 72)
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
NationalityBritish
Political partyLiberal Democrats (2010–present)
Conservative (1967–2009)
Spouse(s)Henrietta McMillan-Scott

McMillan-Scott was a Conservative until his protest over the move of the Conservatives after the June 2009 European elections from the majority, centrist European People's Party (EPP) to the Eurosceptic parliamentary group, the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR). After sitting as an Independent MEP (non-attached) he joined the Liberal Democrats in March 2010. He was elected Patron of the non-party European Movement, a UK based pro-EU organisation founded by Winston Churchill, at its London AGM in 2014.[1] Since 2017 he coordinated a forum of operational pro-European organisations known as Where Next for Brexit?.[2] This was the stakeholder forum for the Grassroots Coordinating Group set up by MPs Chuka Umunna and Anna Soubry to argue for a second referendum on Brexit. McMillan-Scott and colleagues raised over £2 million for the People's Vote campaign, launched in April 2018 to campaign publicly for a second referendum.[3]

He was re-elected top of the Yorkshire & Humber regional list in the 2009 election. McMillan-Scott is a lifelong pro-European.[4] Following David Cameron's decision to withdraw the Conservative MEPs from the centrist European People's Party in order to form the European Conservative and Reformist's Group, McMillan-Scott objected. When the composition of Cameron's new ECR group was announced after the European elections of 2009, McMillan-Scott protested.[5] The new group was described by Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg as "a bunch of nutters, homophobes, anti-Semites and climate-change deniers".[6] He successfully stood as an independent Vice-President against the nominee of the ECR Group, Polish MEP Michał Kamiński, criticising Kamiński's alleged past links to extremism, confirmed inter alia by the Daily Telegraph.[7] He is the only Vice-President to have been elected without an official party candidature.[8]

In March 2010, he joined the Liberal Democrats with whom he had usually worked closely on democracy and human rights issues. In May 2010 he became a member of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the European Parliament.[9] He then sat as ALDE Vice-President of the European Parliament.[10] In January 2012, he was re-elected as Vice-President for the fourth time.[11] He once again received the portfolio for Democracy and Human Rights as well as additionally gaining the Sakharov Prize Network, which underpins the parliament's annual prize for freedom of expression and responsibility for transatlantic relations. In the 2014 election he lost his seat as an MEP.