Richard is now seeking his fourth term as the Member of Parliament for the Newbury constituency. At the 2015 General Election he was returned with an increased majority which now stands at 26,368.
Born, raised and educated in West Berkshire, as well as being involved with a large number of local organisations, including Mary Hare School for deaf children and Swings & Smiles, Richard is well known across the region as a farmer and businessman. His local campaigns have included the roll-out of superfast broadband to West Berkshire and electrification of the Great Western railway line to Newbury and beyond, both now successfully under way; he is currently campaigning on local government finance, homelessness and the provision of mental health services in the constituency.
From 2010 until 2013, he served as the Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries, as part of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition. Prior to this appointment, he was the Shadow Minister for the Environment, Fisheries and Wildlife and has also served as a Whip.
He has remained very involved with environmental issues in Parliament, chairing the All Party Parliamentary Environment Group and the APPG for Waterways. As a former soldier and founder Trustee of the military charity Help for Heroes, he is also interested in matters of defence and has campaigned for the rights of veterans. He served as a member of the Defence Select Committee until October 2016 and leads the UK Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. He is Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ethiopia, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In October 2016 he was appointed to the Intelligence and Security Committee, a cross-party group which is tasked by Parliament to hold the UK intelligence services to account.