Richard Cottrell enjoyed a long career in the British print and broadcast media. As a television journalist specialising in politics and economics he contributed regularly to the national ITV network. In 1979 he was elected as a Conservative in the first direct elections to the European Parliament. Over the next ten years he sat on the parliament s important committees and published two books, one a polemical attack on the EU's farming policy (The Sacred Cow) and another (Blood on Their Hands) which extended the inquiry he performed on behalf of the parliament into the murder of British journalist Ann Chapman under the military junta in Greece. His inquiry cleared an innocent man. He wrote the highly praised landmark Cottrell Report into the activities of pseudo religious cults such as the Moonies and their harmful influences on families and society. Richard entered politics as an enthusiastic European but turned agnostic "as a result of experience of the inner workings of a profoundly anti-democratic system."