Robin Birley (born 19 February 1958) is an English businessman and political activist. He is the son of Lady Annabel Vane-Tempest-Stewart and nightclub owner Mark Birley. He had a brother, Rupert (disappeared and presumed deceased) and a sister, India Jane Birley, from whom he is estranged.
A staunchly conservative Eurosceptic, Birley stood as a candidate for the Referendum Party, founded by his stepfather Sir James Goldsmith with the aim of creating a referendum on UK membership in the European Union.
In 1998 Birley began his work with Chilean Supporters Abroad. During a break in the trial of Chile's former president Augusto Pinochet, Birley welcomed him to England and helped finance a sumptuous residence for him as well as a pro-Pinochet pamphlet. Birley stated: "It's also an abuse of hospitality to ambush an old man when he has come to this country year after year. He has done an immense amount for Chile. No one is supporting him and I have sympathy for the underdog."
In the early 1990s Birley was president of the Mozambique Institute, which supported Renamo, a conservative political party sponsored by the white minority government in Rhodesia and later the by the apartheid regime in South Africa. Birley once told George Monbiot, that he believed he "had not just a right but a duty to give help to Renamo.
In 2005 Birley financed David Davis' bid to become the leader of the United Kingdom's Conservative Party. Birley described Davis as "the most conservative of the candidates". Although the position ultimately went to David Cameron, Birley's younger brother Zac Goldsmith was given a high profile role as the party leader's advisor on environmental issues.
When his father became wheelchair bound, Birley and his sister took over the operation of his nighclub empire. Birley is best known for revamping Annabel's, the legendary London hotspot founded by his father and named for his mother.
However in late 2006, Birley was dismissed by his father and his sister on the grounds of alleged misconduct for having engaged a private investigator to do a background check on the father of his 45 year old sister India Jane's love child without her knowledge or permission. Birley paid £200 000 for what turned out to be false information. For this reason he and his sister, India Jane, are estranged.
Since his dismissal, Birley has concentrated on his company Envirotrade which sells carbon credits. Carbon credits allow companies which produce less than the maximum allowable pollution to transfer (for a fee) their unused carbon allowances to other businesses, allowing those businesses to correspondingly exceed their maximum pollution quotas. Envirotrade also finances projects in Bhutan and Mozambique.
During his adolescence, Birley was mauled by a tiger at Howletts Zoo, the private zoo of family friend John Aspinall. The bones on one side of his face were crushed. He has endured years of cosmetic surgery but the accident left him severely disfigured.