Richard was born in 1947 in Folkestone, Kent and he is married to Sally. They have three daughters.
Before being elected to the European Parliament in June 2004 to represent the South East of England (he was also a candidate in 1999), Richard stood as the Conservative candidate for North Devon Westminster constituency in the 1997 General Election.
As well as having a long-term interest in politics, Richard's life has heavily revolved around cows. He was a dairy farmer in East Sussex for over thirty years and during this time operated his own dairy business. Carrying on this theme, Richard served as Chairman of United Milk Plc.
A particular interest of Richard's is education and he was Chairman of Plumpton College in East Sussex for 15 years. His commitment to bettering Education and in particular vocational learning plays an important role in Richard's parliamentary work.
Richard is currently the ECR Group Coordinator on Budgets. In March 2012, he was elected Leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament and was Deputy Leader from November 2009 to 2010.