Time to go

I announce my resignation from the European parliament

The sun sets on the European parliament

I am writing today to our Conservative East Midlands Chairman Stephen Mold to advise him of my intention to resign my seat in the European parliament effective December 31st.  Here is the letter:

Mr. Stephen Mold,
Regional Chairman,
East Midlands Conservatives.

Dear Stephen,

Resignation from the European Parliament

It was a great pleasure to see you at the Party Conference in Manchester last week.

I am writing to you now to advise you that I shall be resigning my seat in the European parliament effective December 31st this year. 

As with any major decision, this is driven by a number of factors.  Some might say that it is high time I stood aside for a younger man.  For myself, I think that twelve-and-a-half years banging my head against the same brick wall in Brussels is perhaps long enough.  And I should certainly like to see more of my three fine grandsons.
But it would be disingenuous to deny that my decision is dictated in part by my increasing disillusion with the attitudes of the Conservative Party.  I am finding it ever more difficult to defend the policies of the Coalition, not only on my key issues of Europe, and of climate and energy, but on a range of other matters besides.
I will have more to say about this in coming days.

At this point I must express my thanks to all those, too numerous to mention individually, who have helped and supported me up and down the Region since 1999 – to the Party supporters and activists, and indeed the voters, who have three times selected me, and elected me, at the head of the East Midlands MEP list, as well as to all those who supported the successful “Reinstate Roger” campaign when I had the Party Whip temporarily withdrawn.
But some names I must mention.  Three previous regional Chairmen, Nigel Cutts, Dudley Bryant and most recently Linda Kirk, have been hugely supportive, even though I have not always made life easy for them.  I am grateful to David Surtees, who has been present in one rôle or another throughout my political career, and to Simon Richards of The Freedom Association who has been a trusty comrade-in-arms for many years.
I am especially grateful to Chris Heaton-Harris, who for ten years in the European parliament was the best colleague I could have hoped to have – and to the other members of “the H-Block”.  And I should thank all those former staffers who have passed through my office, especially Sally McNamara and Cat Bray (both now in political rôles in Washington) and Lydia Smith, just starting work in Westminster with Mark Lancaster MP.
I should also thank my current staffers Joe Bono and Neelam Cartmell, and of course my current East Midlands colleague Emma McClarkin MEP, for their help and support.
It is my understanding that my place will be taken automatically by Rupert Matthews, who was next-in-line on the 2009 Conservative list.  Rupert is a very sound man indeed, and well known in the region, and I have absolute confidence that he will serve the voters of the East Midlands with great skill and diligence.  He has been a good friend and colleague both to me and to Chris Heaton-Harris for many years, and we have worked together on a number of projects.  Most recently, Rupert has edited and published my latest book “Sceptic at Large”.
I will no doubt be asked about my plans for retirement, but so far I have no plan beyond taking a long and well-earned rest.
Again, thank you for your help and support, and I wish you, and the region, all the best for the future.
Yours sincerely,


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49 Responses to Time to go

  1. Andrew Shakespeare says:

    I’m very sorry to read this, Roger. I understand what you say, but I enjoy your blogs. You will be missed.

  2. Sue Swbk says:

    How about writing a book Roger? The Truth about the European Union from your point of view?

  3. I deeply respect your decision and also your warm acknowledgement of other people. That, actually, is surprisingly rare.

    Now what?

    (May I give you a word of advice? John Redwood is a similar sort of blogger, but his site is much more colourful than yours is. I think your blogging is superb and perhaps it might pay to have a site designed like his is?)

  4. Maria E Prior says:

    All I can add is that I am glad to see you go! Your bigoted pro hunt views have no place in this modern world. I suggest you reflect on that, and listen to the views of the majority of Tory voters, who oppose hunting!!!!

    • Paul says:

      “I suggest you reflect on that, and listen to the views of the majority of Tory voters, who oppose hunting!!!!”…..
      Another good reason to leave Roger. Good luck in the future and I agree with Sue – write a book.
      Keep the blog going, it helps me stay sane knowing that there are like-minded souls out there.

    • Andrew Shakespeare says:

      What a delightful bundle of light and charm you are.

      It’s all about hunting for you, is it? Famines may come and wars may go, tyrants may hold sway and nations fall, but if the cuddly-wuddly foxy-woxies are all wight, nothing else in this world really matters that much, by contrast. You’re an idiot.

      And for the record, I suspect much Tory voters don’t actually give that much of a toss about hunting one way or the other

      • Maria E Prior says:

        It’s not me here, Andrew, who is the idiot! A typical response from a pro hunt person, who won’t face up to the reality that the vast majority of the public are anti hunt!!

      • I doubt that many Labour voters give two hoots about foxhunting, Andrew. Clearly, Maria is a single-issue voter!

    • As someone who lives in the heart of hunting country, I can tell you that I have no desire to ever go hunting or join a hunt, but would defend with my last breath the right of those who wish to do so…. Far too many freedoms and even human rights are being eroded by those who wish to impose their views on others, and the very idea that animals have rights is nebulous at best.

  5. Heather Alibakir says:

    Sad news! Many of us have depended on you for the truth about the machinations of the EU. Hopefully your successor will also tell things as they really are.

    I wish you much happiness in your (semi ?) retirement and joy in the company of your grandsons.

    Come and say “Hello” to us in Lincoln a.s.a.p in the New Year or before

  6. More bad news. We lose in you a good champion. Hopefully you have other political ambitions.

  7. Malcolm Edward says:

    I am very sorry that you are resigning. You have consistently stood for what is right. You have endlessly expained and given evidence for the best path forward and for rational solutions to our countries problems. It is so frustrating for all of us like minded people that those in power do not take heed of your arguments and the values you stand for.
    You have done all you can and all that effort must be very draining. Doubtless you feel it is time for a deserved rest and I wish you happiness in the future.

  8. Derek says:

    Farewell old friend. The EU will be a sadder place without you there to point out the truth to them. I do understand how you feel though. You leave at a time when, despite the Conservatives remaining restrained in coalition, the tide is turning on some key issues, notably on climate change and of course the single currency. You have been right on all of them. God

  9. Maria seems to have a bit of a fox obsession what with that apparently being her number one concern in a time of economic turmoil and hideous new EU laws strangling our recovery and freedoms further.

    Saddened to hear about your resignation as the party needs more like you and its direction is indeed worrying. One of the only breaths of fresh air from the conference was Osborne’s pledge not to reduce carbon emissions any faster than the rest of Europe (not that we should be doing it at all, but it’s at least some progress from our hideous current plans – how the irrational and masochistic green lobbyists have so much power is beyond me). Also, the best compliment I have ever received was when, after reading your book, my boyfriend said it sounded a lot like me but older and male.

    • Maria E Prior says:

      Just to correct you Virginia. It is not I, or any other anti hunting person, who has an ‘obsession’ with hunting, but the minority pros!!!!!!

      • Considering the number of times you have written about hunting, on a blog thread about something entirely different, I think that those who refer to your “obsession” perhaps have a point.

      • Maria E Prior says:

        Just to remind you Mr Helmer, it’s because of people like you that us anti hunters have to fight back! Your views are outdated, and you have non interest in what the majority think on this subject, so, once again, glad you are going!

      • Maria E Prior says:

        Mr Helman, you clearly are not in the real world if you think opinion polls show little difference in views between pro and anti hunting! 76% of the public are anti hunt, and about 62% of Tory voters are also anti hunt. Check out the figures with the Conservatives Against Fox Hunting, of whom I proudly support! As for your hunting demos, that is because you pros are fanatical in wanting to retain your bloodthirsty ‘sport’, and so does not reflect in any way the actual views of the public.

  10. I wish there was a ‘like’ button on these comments. I have agreed with almost everything I have read on your blog, Mr H and well done for being able to be a British politician in a foreign country for so long.

    Email me if you want to help have the traitors arrested and tried. That’s the logical next step for this country.

    I hope you keep blogging and may God bless you and yours.

  11. Hugh Eveleigh says:

    Well nothing lasts but I have now become accustomed to reading you and my one other trusted politician (Senator Cory Bernardi in South Australia) and I am going to miss the refreshingly honest and deeply reasonable words you use to highlight the shenanigans that make up politics and in particular politics in the EU and of course climate chat! I fully accept your reasons and I guess you could not go on as a result of thinking as you do. I too am exasperated by the Conservative party at the moment (well the part that feels it has to kow tow to the LibDems) and phantasise now and then about some sort of New Conservative Party arising from the disenchanted.

    As to the poke above about hunting I agree that most conservatives would not bother whether it was allowed or not but I feel it should return. Pooh to the idea that ‘in this day and age …’ There are 1001 worse things to worry about. And yes, another book perhaps? Maybe after a time of adjustment to the fact of having time, you might consider it. Hope so.
    Reflect on what you have done in the past. The tide is just turning I think on issues you have been right about for so long. Best wishes to you in any case.

    • David says:

      Yes, exactly! This American will also miss the British conservative pragmatist. Indeed, it has been his job to represent the concerns of his constituents, and Roger has done an admirable job.

      Thank you, Roger, for providing Anglo-centric insight into the workings of the EU and general UK and European affairs. I hope you keep this blog alive so we may continue to learn how things really are and how they ought to be.

      If you’re ever in the Huntsville, AL area, please let us know ahead of time.

    • Malcolm Edward says:

      I too have recently thought that we could do with a New Conservative Party – one that has a constitution that enshrines the values that Roger Helmer has espoused.

  12. Well… that’s something of a blow…. the UK&EU political common-sense index just dropped by 1000 points….

    But I do understand the reasons, and would wish to thank you sincerely for shining the light of reason into some murky corners, and for bringing real perspective in a clear and comprehensible manner to some massive issues, and doing it with humour, honesty, integrity and style.
    I salute you sir!
    You will be missed….

    Roger for the House of Lords anyone???
    (Lord Helmer of Middle England)
    (or should that be Median England?)

  13. Charles Wardrop says:

    Yours has been a voice notionally recalling those in clandestine radio broadcasts during WW 2 in Nazi-occupied Europe. The difference is that the “occupiers” are now not Nazis, but anti-democratic exploiters and gravy trainers. Along with Daniel Hannan’s, your messages are desperately valued and important, as we now have “bad listeners” as representatives, re so many issues. They seem to hold us in contempt, so that, tho’ a lifelong Tory in the past, I feel no one in power now represents Toryism, just Liberal and variants.

    We’ll all hope you’ll still be available to make your views known and that your successor is of like mind.

    All the best and thanks again.

  14. maureen gannon says:

    Mr Helman I am sad that again we lose an honest man, it saddens me that someone who has always answered comments with polite restraint is resigning,
    I have not posted on your blog for long but I thank AM for introducing you too me. I put you up there with David Davies who also stood up to be counted it is the tories loss, and all of us who want out of european fraudelant body.

  15. Nick Davis says:

    Mr Helmer,
    You will be missed.
    You kindly signed a copy of your book for me in Manchester; I was struck by your honesty and willingness to speak your mind. I wish you well.

  16. during your time as member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands. Many an evening I’ve read your newsletter emails and tweets, knowing true Conservatives are doing the right thing on our behalf.

    Of course, I understand a referendum on EU membership was something we all hoped for in the outturn of the 2010 General Election. Many in our party, including myself, are disappointed and annoyed it hasn’t come about. Your campaigns to expose the damaging environmental subsidies that blight our economy are now resonating beyond those of us in politics. Unfortunately, being right (as we all were on the single currency) isn’t something that gets much praise in this business.

    You have served with honour and honesty and you can be very proud of your track record in Parliament; you will be greatly missed. I wish you every success in whatever you decide to do next.

    Once again, thank you.

    Yours Faithfully,
    Sean Lever

  17. Greg_L-W. says:


    as a dedicated opponent of the membership of The EU with its centralised dictator style Commission so very redolent of The old USSR’s Politburo and its EU Parliament controlled by appointed appartchiks so similar in style and relevance to The Duma of the old USSR with its multiplicity of languages and time zones and the endless sycophancy and sound bites from approved candidates surely none but supporters of such a structure could face it for a third term – however good the money.

    I therefore wish you a hugely enjoyable retirement from the comfort and utter irrelevance of being an MEP.

    It is to be hoped that now you are quitting the luxury life style funded from the public purse you may find time to be a EUroRealist and arrange National tours enlightening the peoples of these UnitedKingdoms of the malign nature and obvious dangers of not just membership but of the very EU itself.

    It would be good to see you plough back some of the money from the public purse to genuine defence of these UnitedKingdoms and our very varied peoples.

    I trust you have many more years of excellent health and energy to train a new generation to fight for Britain and our liberty as never before.

    Good luck to you and yours.


  18. Al says:

    Selfishly I’m sorry to hear this Roger but do wish you the very best for the future.
    Had I read your blog before the elections I would have voted for you rather than UKIP. I would vote for you next time given the choice. Now though, having seen the sad bunch led by ‘cast iron’ Cameron being even worse than I feared, your replacement will have to work miracles to get my vote.
    Maybe the whole edifice will collapse soon, quicker it happens the less bloodshed.

  19. Martin Cole says:

    Congratulations, having read your post on Conservative Home this morning (13th October), please now be assured of my full and whole-hearted future support.

    A post on Orphans of Liberty confirming this with a public apology will appear in due course, contradicting and compensating, I hope, somewhat for my complaints on Ironies Too!

  20. Faustiesblog says:

    Best wishes, Roger. The personal cost of being forced to publicly support policies you abhor, designed by people in whom you have no confidence must have been great, and I’m just surprised that you managed to stick it out for as long as you have done.

  21. Pingback: The resignation of an MEP – Roger Helmer, Conservative! | Orphans of Liberty

  22. Daniel1979 says:


    I join with others here in saying it is clearly the right and principled decision to resign if you can no longer defend the Tory Party’s direction and policies.

    I wish you good health and good luck with your future endeavours.

    Hopefully you will not stay silent on the issues that matter most.


  23. fact not fiction says:

    There goes Maria again stating the majority want this or that with no evidence. There has been no vote on it so I assume you are basing your views on opinion polls. No one cares what you think Maria.

    • Maria E Prior says:

      The majority of the public are anti hunting! Fact!!!!!! Get over yourself! It’s only the minority pros who do not care what most think! I take it you you are one of those? And, why hide behind a fake name? !!!!

      • Rumplestiltskin says:

        You state things are facts with no evidence. It would be like me saying the majority of people think your arguments are intellectually inept. Writing “FACT!!!!!” does not make it thus.

        Who says it is a fake name? Maybe yours is? I have no evidence to the contrary.. which is currently also a FACT!!!!! LOL

      • Maria E Prior says:

        Rumplestilskin!!!!! Ha!ha! You sad fake profiles just seem to pop up! Just check the opinions of the majority of the public concerning hunting with the RSPCA, and the LACS, for example, to see what people think of hunting!

      • Rumplestiltskin says:

        Ah so the RSPCA are the majority of the public? Or not as the case may be.

        You do think you speak for everyone don’t you. Never read someone who says so much without saying a thing. Maybe I will ask anglers what they think about hunting fish – the biggest supported sport in the country bar none.

      • Maria E Prior says:

        Rumplestiltskin, or whoever you are, I never suggested that the RSPCA were the ‘majority’, but that they had the figures of the opinions of the public on hunting, as do the LACS! Also, why are you bringing up fishing? Who mentioned fishing?

      • Both the RSPCA and LACS are political organisations (just look at the proportion of their budgets devoted to political lobbying) and I’m sure lots of the bequests that go to the RSPCA wouldn’t happen if the donors realised how their money would be spent.
        They may conduct surveys, but as all eductaed people are aware; a survey will tell you whatever you want it to depending on how the questions are worded. I would not trust their figures to be impartial, and you shouldn’t either.
        Look to independant data, and that shows the public to be around 50:50 for and against, certainly no clear majority either way.

      • The overwhelming view of the public is that parliament should not have devoted more time to debating hunting than it did (for example) to debating the Iraq war. Opinion polls show lttle difference between pro and anti, but much more strength of feeling on the pro side. Anti hunt demonstrations are lucky to muster a few hundred: the Countryside Alliance March saw 400,000 on the street (including me).

      • Rumplestiltskin says:

        Roger is so right and backs his point up with facts. Maria still hasn’t provided a link to statistics which back up this supposed huge anti hunt majority. Maria.. if that is your real name…. show us the stats.

  24. Simon says:

    Dear Roger,

    It is sad to see you retire from your position. It is sad to see an upright, clear thinking, rational and honest politician as yourself bow out. As a trustworthy man, we will trust your judgment on both your decision and your successor.

    There seems to be a very clear call however for you to continue in some capacity in the battle against the two most ruinous policies that our current government and opposition alike are submersed in, the EU/Euro and Climate Change. I and the others that wish you well, but hope that you will find some (restful) way to continue leading on those causes, continuing to highlight the facts often suppressed by vested interests, and the absurdities often presented as policy by those same interests.

    As the Australian Galileo movement’s motto says “The triumph of evil requires only that good men do nothing” (Edmund Burke). You have clearly shown that good men can and must speak out and act. Thank you for that.

    Best wishes.

  25. Maria E Prior says:

    Rumplestiltskin, I can assure you my name is real, which is more than I can say about yours. If you are in doubt, you will find me often on the Conservatives Against Foxhunting site. They will be able to provide you with the facts if you so wish!

    • Maria E Prior says:

      Well, Rumplestiltskin, or whoever you are, what’s your response then? If Mr Helmer has fans like you, I rest my case!!!!

  26. Please allow me a second comment.
    In view of the recent developments around the vote in parliament, perhaps you are very much in the right place at the right time.
    Please give all your considerable skill and determination to seeing that we do get out of an organisation which, as even Jeremy Paxman has noticed on Newsnight yesterday evening, is on its last legs.

  27. Pingback: Helmer’s Bad Heir Day « Civitas

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