Diane James is one of the 10 elected Members of the European Parliament (MEP) and representing the South East region of the United Kingdom.

Diane sits as an independent with no party affiliation.

Political career

Diane first became involved in politics after her election in 2006 to the Waverley Borough Council in Surrey. She served on the council for 9 years and was a member of a Council Planning committee and Chair of an Overview and Scrutiny committee. During that time, she saw how disruptive the UK’s subordination to EU rules and directives was –  that led her to becoming Eurosceptic.

She joined UKIP and fought the Eastleigh, Hampshire parliamentary by-election in 2013, only narrowly missing winning the constituency. She was then selected to be a UKIP candidate in the 2014 European Parliament elections was duly elected as an MEP for the South East, where she continues to serve. She played a very prominent role in the June 2016 EU Referendum campaign with regular media appearances, campaigning and speeches.

She is now a member of various key European Parliamentary committees related to healthcare and takes an active interest in the ENVI and IMCO committees which include the remits of public health and the EU’s Digital Single Market.

Diane’s priority, however, is the AFCO committee, which has responsibility to oversee the European Parliament’s contribution to the EU’s Brexit negotiation strategy.

Before politics

Before entering politics, Diane’s worked for over 30 years in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors, in both the UK and internationally. She began by working for major pharmaceutical companies, followed by consultancy firms and then founded her own consultancy business in 1997.

This venture focused on the response to the then UK Government’s healthcare reforms; which have continued under all UK Governments since then. Diane’s work included interaction with a range of government departments, including HM Treasury, Ministry of Defence and Department of Health.

More recently, Diane has become involved in various organisations supporting healthcare innovation in the UK, including Board Chair of a regional NHS innovation and transformation body and a Board Member of a Venture Capital Trust health fund.