Robert Rowland

Robert Andrew Rowland (28 February 1966 – 23 January 2021) was a British politician who served as a Brexit Party Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for South East England from 2019 until the United Kingdom's exit from the EU in 2020.[3] He was a member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and was a substitute on the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy.[4]

Robert Rowland
Robert ID London meeting February 2020.jpg
Rowland in 2020
Member of the European Parliament
for South East England
In office
2 July 2019[1][2] – 31 January 2020
Preceded byRay Finch
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Robert Andrew Rowland

(1966-02-28)28 February 1966
Bowdon, Greater Manchester, England
Died23 January 2021(2021-01-23) (aged 54)
The Bahamas
Political partyBrexit
Spouse(s)Lisa Marie
ResidenceLondon and Bahamas
Alma materSedbergh School
Newcastle University

Early careerEdit

Rowland attended Sedbergh School in Cumbria and graduated from Newcastle University in 1988 with a BA (Hons)[5] and began his career in the investment industry. He started at Lazard Asset Management, and then became a fund manager with Odey Asset Management before becoming a director at Soros Fund Management. [6] He then moved back to Lazard Asset Management in New York, after which he became a partner at Cheyne Capital Management (UK). Rowland was a director of the charity 'Tickets for Troops'. The charity distributes free tickets to members of the armed forces for a variety of sporting, musical and cultural events.[7][8]

Political careerEdit

Rowland's first introduction to politics was while he was studying at the University of Newcastle. He stood for Deputy President of the Students' Union in 1987,[9] and on failing to win that position, the 5 March 1987 issue of the student newspaper, the Courier, reports that he stood unopposed for election for the Convener of the Disciplinary Committee, but lost by 335 votes to 395 against "Re-open Nominations (R.O.N)."[10]

In the 10 March 1988 edition of the Courier, he wrote a letter directed at what he dubbed "the fascist left," and defending freedom of speech, and opposing the practice of providing "no platform" to speakers whose views were considered objectionable by some.[11]

In 2019, Rowland chose to return to politics, and at a European level, by standing as a candidate for the Brexit Party. Rowland gave his first major speech as a candidate at the Lakeside Hotel in Frimley, Surrey, in May of that year, where he described opposition to Brexit as a potential "coup against democracy".[12]

Rowland was elected third on the Brexit Party list for the South East of England in the European Parliament elections in May 2019. He sat on the ECON (Economic and Monetary Affairs) committee in the European Parliament.[13]

Rowland was a climate change sceptic.[14] In a speech on 23 October 2019 he said "decarbonisation is deindustrialisation. It amounts to unilateral disarmament."[14] He argued that decarbonisation policies replace tax revenues generated from fossil fuels with subsidies to the detriment of the funding public services.[14]

Writing for the Daily Telegraph in September 2019, Rowland warned that the UK was giving up a claim to accumulated profits from the European Investment Bank in the proposed European Union withdrawal agreement. In the same article he also argued that large eurozone liabilities and the highly leveraged way that the Bank lends puts it at risk of a banking crisis.[15]

On 9 July 2019, Rowland's Twitter activities received national attention when he tweeted at David Lammy, MP: "Lammy, you’re first port of call should be the Chicago School of Economics. Complete 3 years and then you might understand 10% of what we all understand. Ignorance and race baiting is your signature tune." Twitter users said that the Chicago School of Economics is not an actual university, but a school of thought; and that American degrees would in any case require four years, not three. David Lammy also said that he had, in fact, attended Harvard University.[16][17] The following day, on 10 July 2019, Rowland tweeted: "We are behind all our fisherman and the restoration of sovereignty over our waters. 200 miles of exclusion zone with any foreign fishing vessel given the same treatment as the Belgrano! Well done June. We are 110% behind you and will ensure you give ‘em hell on committee."[18] His threat to sink foreign civilian fishing vessels was widely shared and criticised on social media.[19]

Personal lifeEdit

Rowland was married secondly to Lisa Marie.[8] Together, they had three sons and one daughter.[7]

Rowland died on 23 January 2021 on holiday in the Bahamas. He was 54, and drowned in a diving accident.[8][20][21]


  Media related to Robert Rowland at Wikimedia Commons

  1. ^ "Key dates ahead". European Parliament. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Key dates ahead". BBC News. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  3. ^ "The UK's European elections 2019". BBC News. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  4. ^ "9th parliamentary term | Robert ROWLAND | MEPs | European Parliament". Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  5. ^ "Pacific Funds Series Trust – 485Apos – 20060206 – Name_And_Title". Edgar Online. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  6. ^ "Mr Robert Andrew Rowland". Financial Conduct Authority. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  7. ^ a b "The Directors". Tickets for Troops. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  8. ^ a b c Simpson, Craig (24 January 2021). "Former Brexit Party MEP dies in Bahamas diving accident". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 24 January 2021. (subscription required)
  9. ^ "Newcastle University Courier" (PDF). Newcastle University Library Courier Archive. 29 January 1987. p. 3. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  10. ^ "Newcastle University Courier" (PDF). Newcastle University Library Courier Archive. 5 March 1987. p. 2. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  11. ^ "Newcastle University Courier" (PDF). Newcastle University Library Courier Archive. 10 March 1988. p. 4. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  12. ^ Harris, John (25 May 2019). "The energy behind Farage and his Brexit party leaves his rivals in the shadows". The Guardian.
  13. ^ "South East Region – 10 MEPs".
  14. ^ a b c "Debates: Wednesday, 23 October 2019 – Strasbourg". European Parliament. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  15. ^ Rowland, Robert (30 September 2019). "Bunging the EU billions of pounds for free shows the toxic ineptitude at the heart of May's Brexit deal". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  16. ^ "Brexit Party MEP tried to come for David Lammy's education and he was the one who got schooled". The Independent. 10 July 2019. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Robert Rowland: Former Brexit MEP dies in Bahamas diving accident". BBC News. 24 January 2021. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  18. ^ "Robert Rowland Brexit SE Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  19. ^ Rankin, Jennifer (12 July 2019). "Brexit party MEP called for EU fishing vessels to be 'sunk like Belgrano'". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  20. ^ "Robert Rowland: Former Brexit MEP dies in Bahamas diving accident". BBC News. 24 January 2021. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  21. ^ Hanson, Reece (26 January 2021). "Former Brexit Party MP hopeful dies in Bahamas diving accident". Lowestoft Journal. Retrieved 26 January 2021.