Edward McMillan-Scott is a British politician, formerly Conservative, now a Liberal Democrat. He is a Patron of the European Movement and was co-opted onto its National Council in June 2015 to prepare for the referendum on the UK's membership of the EU.

He was a Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire & Humber 1984 - 2014 and was Leader of the 36 Conservative MEPs 1997-2001. He was elected a Vice-President of the European Parliament four times 2004-2014. He left the Conservatives in protest at David Cameron's controversial new EU alliance and joined the Liberal Democrats in 2010.

He was an award-winning Vice-President for Democracy and Human Rights, and founded the world's largest dedicated programme after the fall of the Berlin Wall. For a synopsis of his work read here

Today he is an active campaigner for human rights and democracy worldwide, and as a Patron of the European Movement, for greater understanding of the European Union within the UK.

Edward founded the world's largest human rights and democracy programme - the EIDHR - after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It continues to operate, often in secret, in the world's most difficult territories.

Edward believes in 'being there' and travels widely to meet reformists and dissidents. After this visit to Beijing in 2006, all his contacts were arrested, imprisoned, and in most cases tortured. He campaigned for their release.

Edward chaired the Single Seat campaign which aims at moving all the European Parliament’s activities to Brussels. The current arrangement sees MEPs, staff and assistants having to meet twelve times per year at the parliament's official 'Seat' in Strasbourg (Edward chairs a parliament session there, right). This anachronism costs €180 million and 19,000 tonnes of CO2 every year. He is now Honorary Patron of Single Seat

Edward has long studied totalitarianism and opposed the Soviet system and more recently the Beijing regime, the most brutal one-party state in world history. He often writes about the rise of the Right in Europe.

He has become alarmed at the rise of disguised extremism and forms of neo-Fascism across Europe. TIME magazine's cover story after the European elections of 2009 reported that Europe had made a far right turn, covering the rise of the right in ten EU countries. The election of May 2014 has confirmed this trend, with about 30% of MEPs from right-wing or extremist parties.