Ashley was first elected to the European Parliament in 2009 and was re-elected in 2014. Ashley was elected as Leader of the Conservative MEPs in November 2014. As a British Conservative he was a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) where he served as Chief Whip from 2010 - 2014.
Ashley was a member of the Industry, Research & Energy Committee and the Economic & Monetary Affairs Committee in the European Parliament. He was also the leading British campaigner seeking to scrap the wasteful ‘Strasbourg Circus’ – which costs taxpayers €156m every year.
Educated at The King's School, Worcester, Ashley studied law at Bristol Polytechnic before working for a year as an English assistant in France. He took his solicitors’ finals at Chester College of Law. After completing his articles, he qualified as a Solicitor in 1994.Before being elected as a MEP Ashley worked for 15 years as a Solicitor in Bristol, specialising in Insurance Litigation. He was a Partner at Badhams Thompson and an Associate at Morgan Cole.
From 1998 -2000 Ashley was Chairman of Bristol West Conservative Association. He stood as the Conservative candidate for Bath at the General Election in 2001. In 2002 he was elected as Councillor for Westbury-on-Trym on Bristol City Council, a position he held for 8 years.
Ashley continues to live in Bristol with his wife and two children.