John was born in 1978 in Hampshire to parents that had left Britain in the 1970s to work abroad. He therefore grew up both in Africa and in various parts of the UK. Throughout the course of his childhood John attended 11 different schools in three countries, concluding his formal education at Jeppe Boys High, in Johannesburg. Thereafter, he continued informal language and theological studies at the Faculté Libre de Théologie Réformée in Aix-en-Provence, France.
John talking to Bulgarian National TV in 2015 about his opinion of Bulgaria’s membership of the European Union and his decision to invest in Bulgaria. He expresses the view that rather than deserting their own country to help make foreign corporations more profitable through their competitive labour rates, Bulgaria should incentivise their most talented people to stay home and make their own country strong.
👈 At State House, Kampala with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in February 2000, following John’s expedition to re-open the Rwenzori National Park.
After school between working temporary jobs, John participated in adventurous expeditions. In early 2000 John travelled to East Africa to climb Africa's three highest mountains. In Uganda the authorities informed him the Rwenzori National Park was closed because of an ongoing terrorist insurgency perpetrated by Interahamwe in which there had been a series of massacres of British and American tourists, and that it would therefore not be possible to climb Mount Stanley - Africa's 3rd highest mountain.
Unwilling to turn back, John approached the Regional District Commissioner to request contact with the Commander of the Ugandan People's Defence Force, Brigadier General James Kazini, and proposed a venture that he argued would benefit the country and create a sense of the UPDF having regained tactical domination of the Kasese region.
John's proposal was approved. His expedition was funded by the President's office and he was escorted by a 41-strong platoon of UPDF soldiers high into the Rwenzori, from where he and a climbing friend (sadly since deceased in a climbing accident in 2003) continued alone to the mountain's summit.
John's expedition demonstrated that the Rwenzori National Park was safe to receive tourists once again, and that the tourism-dependent economy of that area could be restarted. John received recognition from the Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, at State House in Kampala, for his contribution to the country.
Since February 2000 tourism in western Uganda has continued to flourish and local businesses have begun operating and employing workers again.
John addressing colleagues in East Africa. 2nd from left (crouching) is ex-Kenyan Premier League footballer James Mattu, who in spite of being invited to London to be hosted by Chelsea FC by Roman Abramovic, was denied a visitor’s visa by UK Immigration. John believes that current UK immigration policy does not favour merit, and wants to fight this. 👉
In his teens, with money from temporary jobs John funded expeditions that included cycling solo from Geneva to Jerusalem (1997) and across America from Los Angeles to New York (2000), as well as various mountaineering expeditions, including an unsupported speed-climb attempt without supplemental oxygen on Everest’s North Face with his then new wife, Rebecca, whom he married in October 2001.
Having had Arienwyn, the first of their three children together in 2003, John transitioned from high-risk to commercial expeditions and, in a densely populated field of some 400 competing operations, created a new tourism business in 2004 - Team Kilimanjaro.
Team Kilimanjaro grew to become one of the three largest operations in the industry, providing jobs for some 700 staff at its peak, and continues to operate successfully some 16 years after being established.
In 2018, with rising government levies in Tanzania and increased competition from adventurous expedition organisers abroad, having identified a sustained five year long slow-down in the East African tourism market, John made the decision to diversify into precious mineral dealing, establishing Lewin Africa Limited in response to growing demand from within Europe and the Middle East for raw gold.
John lives with his wife and three children close to his family roots in South Wales, occasionally travelling abroad for business reasons. John's family trace their history back many generations in Wales, on both his parents' sides.
John believes that Wales should remain an indivisible part of the Union, but is campaigning for Welsh self-determination. He wants to see the Welsh electorate voting directly on laws that affect Wales, not by proxy through our so-called representatives in Senedd that have so badly failed us, but by implementing direct democracy in Wales and ensuring that the outcome of any people's vote in which more than 10% of the eligible electorate participate is not simply treated as an advisory referendum to better inform government policy, but actually has the force of law - as in Switzerland.
John believes that the Welsh people know what is best for themselves and if they take control of their own futures and how public money is spent they will cut waste and make laws that create jobs and encourage investment.
Most of John's forbears were either in the Royal Navy or British Army. He was raised to respect the ethos of our Armed Forces and to be grateful for the sacrifices many who have served our country have been called to make.
One of John’s expeditions (Euro Man of Steel) raised funds for the Royal British Legion and World Child Cancer. As well as recruiting Sir Ranulph Fiennes to assist the project, John accompanied a 4-man team on a 108 km run from the Millenium Stadium in London to the south coast; meeting up with them in France to film their cycling journey to Switzerland, where they attempted to summit the Matterhorn.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes talking to John about the work of the Royal British Legion and the importance of helping veterans in need who have done so much for Britain.
John’s family are irrepressibly passionate about Europe and enjoy family life in each of the places they spend time. His love of the wonderful diversity of Europe has cemented his belief that there is no such thing as a truly common ‘European identity’ or ‘European culture’; but a shared history reflected uniquely by each nation within Europe.
John believes that each country within Europe should be free to protect its own liberties, autonomy, values and national character, and that there should be healthy and friendly competition to compete for the highest caliber immigrants and investment from around the world, driving up standards across the continent by being motivated by pride in national achievements. However he also believes there is a deep alliance between European nations that should be nurtured and celebrated, with cooperation, not consolidation, at its core.
👈 JRE speaking to Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Believing that the political class in Britain largely lacks a sincere concept of public service, and that they are generally aloof from and lack affinity with their electorate, John believes that significant changes to the culture of politics in Britain are long overdue. He hopes for more honesty, openness and humility in public service.
John does not subscribe to the traditional concept of a left-right political paradigm. His personal concept of government favours minimalism: less intervention into the lives, choices and liberties of ordinary people; and cutting unnecessary regulatory legislation which he believes resists business creation and growth, saps motivation to be industrious, and suppresses our national economic development.
In short, John is a patriot who believes in the innate common sense of the British people, resents the overbearing nature of the nanny state while standing up for those who society has a duty to protect. He believes that Britain has been co-opted into a culture which sees many of our children being raised with a sense of learned helplessness and a lack of confidence, reflected in the attitudes of many young voters slow to recognise the many incredible opportunities regaining sovereignty by leaving the EU has to offer.
It is John’s conviction that our traditional values - Judeo-Christian values that made our country so great - have been suppressed in favour of political correctness and by the contrived common ‘European identity’ which he does not believe actually exists – except within the fantasy of élite Brussels bureaucrats intent on stamping the world with their legacy; a vanity project of an EU Superstate with the wholesale destruction of national sovereignty and identity at its core.
For the sake of his own children, John wants to see a Britain that is free to negotiate its own international trade relationships – particularly relationships that benefit the Commonwealth and developing countries – and that leads the world in living standards and entrepreneurship.
One of John’s most recent expeditions (Euro Man of Steel) – assisted by Sir Ranulph Fiennes – raised funds for the Royal British Legion and World Child Cancer. Training for the Euro Man of Steel, to raise funds for the Royal British Legion.☝️
John has mentored several young people over the last few years and has come to believe that the current structure of Britain’s welfare state can disincentivise the young from achieving their potential, and at the same time stigmatises those who genuinely depend on it.
He would like to see very significant changes that increase the motivation and self-respect of long-term unemployed young people in Britain, and hopes to work closely with people in this area to show them how to realise their full potential.
John believes that too many youngsters graduate from the education system with unusable degrees as opposed to vocational skills that could directly be employed by industry. He wants to see greater diversity in schooling that recognises the individuality of young people and allows them to pursue their unique aspirations, learning from successful education models in other countries.
John believes that the next government should investigate ways of ensuring that the educational route of each child should be tailored towards their interests and abilities and that no child should conclude their education without a skill set, whether a trade, entrepreneurial training, or an academic discipline, that will lead them towards a fulfilling career and self sufficiency.
Having successfully campaigned for Britain's independence from overseas rule, John is now campaigning for the independence of the people of the United Kingdom from their failed political class. To that end, in January 2018 he founded Britain's direct democracy party with the aim of replacing representative democracy in Britain with direct democracy - putting the people directly in control of their own law-making and determining how their own tax money is spent.
Read about the Five Star Direct Democracy Party ➡️
Above all, John enjoys spending time with his family, particularly walking in the hills or visiting historic sites. His hobbies include occasional adventurous expeditions, hill-running, cycling, mountaineering, piloting a single engine plane, skydiving (strictly for health and safety reasons - in the event of plane engine failure), skeet shooting, and competitive dynamic pistol shooting (in Bulgaria).
👈 John began flying to minimise time spent away from his family when required to travel to remote parts of Africa
John training with his eldest son, Linus.
The Rees-Evans family on top of Mount Kilimanjaro, 5895m (19,340ft). The children were aged 5, 7 and 9; November 2012. During this expedition Bran (named after Llyr Llediaith) became the youngest person ever recorded to have reached the summit of the world’s largest freestanding mountain.