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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More trouble for the Tories

David Cameron's brave new European World suffered another setback yesterday with the loss of one his own MEPs from the new right wing anti-European grouping the Tories have formed in Strasbourg.

Edward McMillan-Scott, who is the longest serving Tory MEP had the whip removed for standing against Michal Kaminski, an MEP from the party’s new Polish allies, in a vote for vice-presidents of the Parliament:

He stood against Mr Kaminski in defiance of orders from Timothy Kirkhope, the Conservative group leader, to give the Pole a free run. Mr McMillan-Scott was elected an independent vice-president of the Parliament. Mr Kaminski failed to win a post and the Tories’ new group was left as the only one without a vice-president.

The disciplining of Mr McMillan-Scott, who has expressed “real concern” about teaming up with “extreme rightwingers”, highlighted tensions among Tory MEPs over Mr Cameron’s decision to shun the parties of Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy.

Mr McMillan-Scott has made it very clear what he thinks of Cameron's direction of travel: “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,” he said recently. There could be trouble ahead for the Tory leader.
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