Long-serving Beds Euro MP Richard Howitt has announced he is leaving the European Parliament later this year, to become head of a leading global organisation dedicated to linking companies with society, the environment and the wider economy.
Mr Howitt will become Chief Executive of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), which brings together a global coalition of business, investment, regulatory and civil society representatives, to drive a global evolution in corporate reporting.
During more than 22 years as a Labour Euro MP, Richard Howitt has served as Rapporteur (lead-MEP) on Corporate Responsibility in four terms of the European Parliament, and was a key architect of the EU’s non-financial information law.
He has represented European interests in global initiatives on responsible business, including at the United Nations.
He is the second longest-serving British Member of the European Parliament, first elected in 1994, and serves as the only Labour Euro MP in the East of England.
He helped negotiate multi-million pound European investment regenerating coastal and market towns locally, establishing East coast ports and airports as priority European trade routes and devoting EU regional aid to helping local business transition to low carbon growth.
He is outgoing Chair of the European Parliamentary Labour Party. He has served as Foreign Affairs Spokesperson for both Labour and all European centre-left Euro MPs and as a member of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Ministerial team during Labour’s period of government.
Mr Howitt said: “It has been an enormous privilege to serve in this role and I cannot thank enough the countless people who I have sought to help - and who have shown extraordinary kindness in helping me.
“It is time for me to take on a new role, but my personal values are as strong as ever, I will remain living with my family locally and I am sure the many friendships I have made will endure long in to the future.”
He will continues to undertake his full duties until his formal resignation.