Niranjan Joseph "Nirj" De Silva Deva-Aditya FRSA DL (born 11 May 1948) is a politician from the United Kingdom. A member of the Conservative Party, he has been a Member of the European Parliament representing South East England since 1999. He was previously a Member of Parliament (MP) in the British House of Commons from 1992 to 1997, representing the constituency of Brentford and Isleworth.
Deva was born in Sri Lanka into a politically active family, and was raised in Britain. He was only the fourth Asian-born person to be elected a Member of the House of Commons, and was the first Asian-born person to be elected as a Conservative member of the European Parliament.
In 1992, Deva was elected to the House of Commons as MP for the London constituency of Brentford and Isleworth. During his time in Parliament, Deva served as a Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) at the Scottish Office. Deva was only the second Asian-born person to be elected a Member of the House of Commons and serve in the British Government.
He was defeated in the 1997 general election, losing to the Labour candidate Ann Keen.
In 1999, Deva became the first Asian-born person to be elected as a Conservative member of the European Parliament where he represents South East England. He serves as co-ordinator on the Committee on Overseas Development and Cooperation, and is a bureau member of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly. He is also a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament.
In April 2005 he was chairman of the European Parliament's delegation to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development in New York, and delivered a paper on the future of the United Nations at the US Council on Foreign Relations. A few months later, he headed the European Parliament's delegation to the UN High-Level Conference on global financing of aid. Also in 2005 he was Co-Chairman (with former Prime Minister of France Michel Rocard) of the European Parliaments' Delegation to the World Summit at the United Nations 60th General Assembly.
Deva has established an online campaign calling for a referendum on the European Constitution (www.giveusareferendum.eu), and launched an online survey asking the views of his constituents on the future of the EU.
On November 3, 2011 it was announced that Deva is candidate for President of the European Parliament of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group. Other candidates are Martin Schulz and Diana Wallis.
March 22, 2012