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  1. Politics
16 September 2009

Top Tory MEP expelled from party

Edward McMillan-Scott thrown out after speaking out against "fascist" links in European Parliament

By Staff Blogger

A leading Conservative has been thrown out of the party after criticising the leadership for joining a hard-line right wing alliance in the European Parliament.

Edward McMillan-Scott, an MEP for 25 years, had the whip withdrawn during summer and was told last night that he was being expelled from the Conservatives after refusing to offer the party assurances about his behaviour.

He angered the party leadership in July when he stood for one of the European Parliament’s vice-president posts – and won – against Michal Kaminski, head of the Polish Law and Justice Party, the candidate the Conservative party endorsed.

Under Cameron, Tory MEPs have left the centre-right EPP group to work instead with a new anti-federalist group, the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).

McMillan-Scott said that Cameron had been led by the nose by Eurosceptics, and alleged that Kaminski, who once belonged to the notorious far-right organisation, National Revival of Poland, was a fascist with “anti-Semitic, homophobic, and racist links”.

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David Miliband, the foreign secretary, said that this latest move revealed “the true face” of the Conservatives. He said: “Mr McMillan-Scott has been expelled for standing up against the new far-right conservative extremists and their associates in the European Parliament.”

In a statement following his expulsion, McMillan-Scott said he would be appealing the decision. He added: “After 42 years in the party, 25 as an MEP and four years as leader of the MEPs the party should trust me not to make political mistakes.

“The issue is my standing and winning on July 14 on a point of principle against a wholly inappropriate and unsuitable candidate as Vice-President of the European Parliament, imposed as part of David Cameron’s new European group. I will not be a scapegoat for this.

“David Cameron has been exploited by those in his party who want Britain to leave Europe: I want Britain to lead in Europe.”

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