Robert is a former Member of the European Parliament (1999-2008) where he represented the British Labour Party. In Parliament, Robert chaired the Delegation for relations with the countries of South Asia and he has focused on EU-Bangladesh relations. During his time as an MEP, he has actively dealt with the shipbreaking issue. He now works as a local Councillor, and as a consultant, in particular with his special expertise in Bangladesh to the charities BRAC and London Tigers.

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