| Robert Evans |
23 October 1956|
Robert John Emlyn Evans is a former Labour and Co-operative Party Member of the European Parliament (MEP) representing London from 1994–2009.
On 25 February 1988, Robert Evans spoke on BBC "Question Time" about a comment made earlier that week by retired Master of the Rolls, Alfred Denning: "That it is more important to retain public confidence in the legal and judicial system than it is for innocent people to remain in prison: how do the panel react?"
Russell Johnston MP inferred from what Lord Denning had said that the Northern Ireland appeal system was being considered for introduction into England.
Shirley Goodwin of the Health Visitors Association said Lord Denning's comments were appalling.
Michael Meacher called the comment an appalling 'Denningism' and described it as a 'false antithesis'. Meacher said:
- "I have the deepest scepticism about the Appeal Court's decision on the Birmingham Six."
- "I certainly agree with Michael Meacher on that last point there. It's appalling that Lord Denning should suggest that any people who query why they're in prison should have their pieces of paper or letters they have written thrown into the bin, which is what he said. But what I think comes through bright and clear is that it's about time that the press and the media stopped asking Lord Denning for his opinion, and that he stopped giving his opinion."
Robert Evans was educated at Ashford County Grammar School before gaining a BEd and MA from the Institute of Education, University of London. He became a teacher and was Headmaster of a Junior School in Hounslow by the time of his election to the European Parliament in 1994.
He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Brunel University in 1998.
Robert Evans was originally elected to the European Parliament for London North West in 1994, having previously stood unsuccessfully in 1989. He sat with the Party of European Socialists and was on the European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism. His main achievement was to create a new Europe-wide law to outlaw discrimination against disabled passengers when travelling by air. He was a substitute member for the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, Chair of the Delegation for relations with the countries of South Asia and was also closely involved with Romania and Moldova. From 1999–2004 he was Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs. From 2004 to 2007 Robert Evans was Chairman of the European Parliamentary Labour Party.
Robert Evans was an election observer for the European Parliament, and was Chair of the mission to observe the Pakistan elections in 2008 and EU Chief Observer to Cambodia in 2003.
Robert Evans announced in November 2008 that he would not be seeking re-election to the European Parliament in 2009.
Robert Evans stood unsuccessfully as the Labour Party's candidate in the 2003 Brent East by-election.
From 2009, he became an independent consultant and freelance adviser to various MPs, to CAMS College in Hayes, and, with his special expertise in Bangladesh, to the charities BRAC and London Tigers.
In November 2012 he stood as Labour candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner in Surrey.
On 2 May 2013, Robert Evans was elected Surrey County Councillor for Stanwell and Stanwell Moor, and is now Labour leader on Surrey County Council.
In response to controversial comments by Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, blaming the Environment Agency for the flooding in Somerset, Robert Evans tweeted on 11 February 2014:
- Unprecedented apology on behalf of @SurreyCouncil for actions and words of Eric Pickles SoS for @CommunitiesUK from #Tory Cllr John Furey.
Charities and Sports
Robert Evans is a Vice President of the League Against Cruel Sports, a trustee of BRAC-UK, a Life Member of Ashford Cricket Club, and a long-standing member of Ashford Middlesex Hockey Club.
- "Robert Evans on 'BBC Question Time'"
- "Robert Evans MEP"
- "Outlawing discrimination against disabled passengers"
- "EU assesses Pakistan's poll positively"
- "Robert Evans 'seeking new challenges'"
- "All smiles as Lib Dems take seat Labour could not lose"
- "CAMS College"
- "London Tigers"
- "Stanwell Results"
- "Eric Pickles 'more use as a sandbag' and up to his neck in political mudslinging over flooding"
- "Unprecedented apology on behalf of @SurreyCouncil for actions and words of Eric Pickles"
- "League Against Cruel Sports"
- "Ashford Cricket Club"
- "Ashford Hockey Club"