Stanley is a former Conservative member of the European Parliament (MEP) where he served (1979-1984) as Vice Chairman of the Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection. His awards include the Greenpeace Prize for Outstanding Services to the Environment in 1984, a WWF SilverMedal in 2012 and the RSPB's Medal for Services to Nature Conservation and the WWF Leaders of the Living Planet 2015. He is currently a trustee of the Gorilla Organisation and an Ambassador for the United Nations Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).

Stanley has had ten books published dealing with environmental issues, including The Politics of the Environment, The Earth Summit and The Environmental Policy of the European Communities and nine novels, including The Commissioner which was made into a film starring John Hurt.

The UK Referendum in June 2016, on Britain's membership of the EU, was a political showdown a British prime minister thought couldn't be lost. But the next morning Britain woke up to a shock result. Kompromat explores the skullduggery that might just have gone on behind the scenes.