Tories lose senior MEP over new right-wing Euro grouping

Three weeks after the Tories tried to sneak out the announcement that they had formed a new right-wing European parliamentary grouping made up of some of Europe’s more, erm, eccentric and extreme characters comes news of the first Tory casualty – ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie tweets:

Edward Macmillan-Scott MEP expelled from Cons Party for disobeying instructions from new EP grouping on elections for VP of Parliament

The news doesn’t come as a complete shock – on 25 June, Mr McMillan-Scott voiced “real concerns” about the Tories’ new Euro friends, commenting:

Despite what David Cameron has said there are already indications that some of the members have links with extremist groups and I feel very, very uncomfortable with that. I know the party has made inquiries but I will make my own investigations into the background of these people.”

On his own website, the lead news story (currently) notes just one of the obvious pitfalls of the Tories’ new grouping:

McMillan-Scott said he is an “internationalist, pro-European Catholic” but worried that if the only coherence of the group was opposition to federalism – over which MEPs had no powers – it would divide on moral questions where they did, like genetics, embryology and sexual politics.

But – expected or not – Mr McMillan-Scott’s explusion is a blow to the Tories, for he was a senior and experienced member of their group: an MEP for 25 years, he led the European Tories between 1997 and 2001, and has been a Vice-President of the European Parliament since 2004.

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  • The complete and utter prattishness of the tories policy on the EU is their big weakness. It should be exploited again and again and again.

  • Chris,time to wake up and smell the coffee,your average voter is more interested in astro physics than the EU.

  • Terry Gilbert 15th Jul '09 - 1:37am

    I think anti EU voters are actually VERY interested, but most drawbridge-down liberal-minded (as opposed to Liberal Democrat minded) people are not as bothered by it, since they do not fear foriegners. The problem for the Tories is that the latter group includes much of the well-educated elite, who might actually run things well, while many of the former are nutters who are completely obsessed by Europhobia. If the Tories really have expelled MacMillan Scott (I note some sources are saying he has merely had the whip withdrawn?), who is experienced and respected except among Tory activists, they are one more step along the route to becoming a party of nutters incapable of running a whelk stall. Quite good for us, really. Fancy joining the Lib Dems and ALDE, Edward?

  • If you think the Tories new mates are bad, just look at the group UKIP have palled up with.

  • Terry Gilbert, don’t you think it’s a bit patronising to use phrases like “drawbridge up/down” & suggest that all EU-critical people are just afraid of the outside world & that’s all there is to it?

    There are a lot of valid reasons to criticise the EU setup, believe it or not, in part because of the impact EU policies have on the world’s poor.

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