New Times,
New Thinking.

12 October 2009

Kaminski: the pressure builds

Evidence keeps on coming

By James Macintyre

For months now I have been covering the Tories’ new friends in the European Parliament, and especially the friendship with Michal Kaminski. Anyone interested in the row over Kaminski, who leads the group to which the Tories now belong in Europe, should have read the comprehensive investigation into him by Toby Helm in this week’s Observer.

It is also worth listening to Helm’s phone conversation with Kaminski, in which Kaminski “cannot remember where he was on the day in 2001 that the Polish government apologised for the 1941 murder of hundreds of Jews in Jedwabne”.

As Helm says on his blog today:

The Tories have big problems now in defending Michał Kamiński, their leader in the European Parliament. I have noticed, as the evidence floods in about him (and it really is flooding in), that they have stopped accusing those who have been taking a good look at him as pedlars of Labour smears.

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The latest developments come amid signs of increasing frustration in the David Cameron camp around the issue of the Tories’ alliances in Europe, alliances encouraged so strongly by his shadow foreign secretary, William Hague. There was an intriguing but under-noticed line in Cameron’s speech to Conservative conference last week — a speech in which Cameron did not mention the party’s controversial European alliances once — that may indicate an attempt to distance himself from Hague. Cameron, after all, described Hague as “the man who is leading our campaign for a referendum” on the Lisbon Treaty. Isn’t that Cameron himself?

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