European Parliament (general)

23 Jul 2013 07:00:54

Full list of would-be MEP candidates in all regions - there's still time to use your vote

By Mark Wallace
Follow Mark on Twitter.


By now, all Conservative party members should have received their ballot papers for the selection of MEP candidates to stand in next year's European Parliament elections. We've covered various of the regional shortlists over the last few weeks, but for the record here is the full list of all the candidates seeking selection.

Each region features two lists. Those sitting MEPs who received more the 60% of the vote in the regional selectoral college automatically go to the top of the list, and members now get to rank them in order. The general shortlist features the candidates who will make up the rest of the party's platform in each region - members vote for a number of them to decide the order in which they will be ranked below the approved MEPs.

It's noteworthy that three sitting MEPs (including both the defectors from UKIP and Richard Ashworth, the delegation leader) failed to secure the approval of the selectoral college, and are thus having to fight it out for a place among the general candidate shortlist. This is a good sign that local members and officials are starting to flex their muscles and become far more demanding when picking candidates to send to Brussels.

North East

Martin Callanan MEP


Ben Houchen

Andy Lee

John Sharp


North West

Jacqueline Foster MEP

Sajjad Karim MEP


Joe Barker

Kevin Beaty

Deborah Dunleavy

Charles Fifield

Daniel Hamilton

Greg Morgan

James Walsh

Chris Whiteside



Timothy Kirkhope MEP


Caroline Abbott

Fleur Butler

Michael Naughton

Spencer Pitfield

Karl Poulsen

John Proctor

Alex Story



Syed Kamall MEP

Charles Tannock MEP

Marina Yannakoudakis MEP


Annesley Abercorn

Caroline Attfield

Glyn Chambers

Lynne Hack

Sheila Lawlor

Warwick Lightfoot

Anthony Samuels


South East

Daniel Hannan MEP 

Nirj Deva MEP 


Richard Ashworth MEP

Chris Cortes

Tony Devenish

George Jeffrey

Graham Knight

Rory Love

Julie Marson 

Adrian Pepper

Richard Robinson 

(As noted previously, Marta Andreasen MEP is technically eligible to be a candidate on the general shortlist. Howeverm I'm told she hasn't attended at least one of the hustings, suggesting she may be ruling herself out of the running.)


South West

Ashley Fox MEP

Juie Girling MEP


Georgina Butler

Don Collier

James Cracknell

Melissa Maynard

Virginia Morris

Sophie Swire


East of England

Vicky Ford MEP

Geoffrey Van Orden MEP


David Campbell Bannerman MEP

Jonathan Collett

John Flack

Cllr Tom Hunt

Gagan Mohindra

Margaret Simons


West Midlands

Phil Bradbourn MEP

Anthea McIntyre MEP


Susan Arnold

Sibby Buckle

Michael Burnett

Daniel Dalton

Ian Jamie

David Price

Daniel Sames


East Midlands

Emma McClarkin MEP


Stephen Castens

Brendan Clarke-Smith

Andrew Lewer

Toby Makhzangi

Rupert Matthews

Sudesh Mattu



Kay Swinburne MEP


Dan Boucher

Aled Davies

Richard Hopkin

Steve Haggett



Scotland ranked its candidates by votes at a series of hustings, rather than through the postal ballot process used in the rest of the country. The results of that ranking are:

1. Ian Duncan

2. Belinda Don

3. Nosheena Mobarik

4. Jamie Gardiner

5. Iain McGill

6. Stuart McIntyre


If, like me, you haven't received your ballot papers for some reason, you should contact Electoral Reform Services:

On-line voting: Tel: 020 8889 9203 Email: [email protected]
Postal voting: Tel: 020 8889 9203 Email: [email protected]

23 May 2012 07:19:30

Would you like to be a Tory MEP? There could be nine vacancies in 2014...

By Tim Montgomerie
Follow Tim on Twitter

Yesterday the Tory list for the next European Parliamentary Elections in 2014 was opened. Please get in touch with the Conservative Party's Candidates Department if you think you'd make a good MEP. There should be a good number of vacancies...

  • Since the last election two MEPs have left the Conservative Party; Edward McMillan-Scott from the Yorkshire region who joined the Liberal Democrats and Roger Helmer from the East Midlands who defected to UKIP.
  • We also had one MEP defect to us; David Campbell Bannerman from UKIP, representing the East of England.

Four MEPs have already announced that they will be retiring:

  • Struan Stevenson (Scotland)
  • Robert Atkins (North West)
  • Giles Chichester (South West)
  • Robert Sturdy (Eastern)

It is very possible that there may be other retirements. Speculation focuses upon Timothy Kirkhope, Malcolm Harbour, James Elles and Geoffrey Van Orden.

This could mean that there will be nine vacancies in the Tory MEP delegation. There are currently 26 Tory MEPs.

It is far from clear that the party will be able to match the top-of-the-poll 27.7% vote share that it won at the last elections in 2009 but the road to the Brussels parliament might be less jammed than the road to the Westminster parliament for Tory candidates. If the boundaries for the House of Commons are changed then there will be fifty fewer MPs and opportunities for people to become candidates in winnable seats will be very limited.

Conservative HQ has yet to decide on how MEP candidates will be selected and ranked. Five years ago the process was shockingly manipulated. Many incumbent MEPs were re-adopted even though they held Europhile views. Hustings were banned in order to minimise the opportunity for Eurosceptic candidates to promote themselves and be selected. Women were ranked higher on MEP lists even if they won fewer votes from members. Turnout figures for the election were suppressed.

If the party doesn't choose candidates this time that are in tune with party and mainstream national opinion on issues like Europe and prisoners' voting rights we will face an uphill struggle against UKIP.

14 Mar 2012 14:59:59

Richard Ashworth elected new leader of Tory MEPs

By Matthew Barrett
Follow Matthew on Twitter

Ashworth Richard 2Following the resignation of Martin Callanan a fortnight ago, the new leader of Britain's Conservative MEPs has been announced as Richard Ashworth.

Ashworth was elected today by fellow Tory MEPs to lead the Party's delegation in the European Parliament. Ashworth beat Syed Kamall in the third round of voting - the second round was a 13-13 tie between the two. Had Roger Helmer not defected earlier this month, he would have cast the deciding vote for Kamall, and therefore Sayeeda Warsi's obstructionism over Helmer's rightful successor, Rupert Matthews, has essentially cost the party a firmly Eurosceptic Muslim leader in the European Parliament.

Ashworth has represented the South East England region since the 2004 elections and is the Conservative spokesman on the European Parliament Budget committee and has been involved in negotiating the EU's next Multi-Annual Financial Framework to set spending parameters from 2013 to 2020. Ashworth also sits on the Policy Challenges and Agriculture committees. He was deputy leader of the Conservative delegation from November 2008 to November 2010 and before that, chief whip from January to November 2007. Prior to entering the European Parliament, Ashworth owned his own business processing and retailing dairy products. 

Ashworth commented on his election:

"It is a great honour to be chosen by my colleagues to lead them. These are challenging times - but I intend to continue the work of making Conservative principles heard in Europe as the voice of economic good sense and a driving force for competition and growth. We will work for better value for taxpayers' money in Europe - for greater efficiency, less waste and less red tape holding back enterprise and prosperity. For a flexible Europe that benefits Britain instead of dictating to it."

4 Mar 2012 09:08:23

Rupert Matthews condemns Roger Helmer MEP's betrayal

By Tim Montgomerie
Follow Tim on Twitter

Yesterday I reported Roger Helmer MEP's regrettable decision to defect to UKIP.

Mr Helmer defected after he had announced his hope to retire and then after ConHQ had refused to appoint Rupert Matthews as his successor. Mr Matthews was ranked next in the East Midlands list of MEP candidates.

Rupert Matthews reacted yesterday afternoon and condemned Roger Helmer's decision as a betrayal:

"I am shocked and disappointed at Roger Helmer’s decision to betray his public promises to the people of the East Midlands and his private promises to his colleagues. Since Roger announced that he was standing down as the MEP, many people in the East Midlands have spent a considerable amount of time and effort in preparing for Roger’s retirement, my taking his place in Brussels and the unavoidable upheavals that this would have entailed. I myself was looking forward very much to representing the people of the East Midlands and the Conservative Party in the European Parliament. It is unfortunate that all this time and effort has been rendered useless by Roger’s actions. I wish to make it clear that I have no intention of following Roger to UKIP and that I will continue to serve the Conservative Party as loyally as I have in the 28 years since I joined the party. I will be working hard to ensure the return of Conservative candidates in the local elections in May and at the next European Election in 2014."

3 Mar 2012 07:26:57

Roger Helmer MEP explains why he has defected from the Conservatives to UKIP

By Tim Montgomerie
Follow Tim on Twitter

Helmer Farage

Roger Helmer MEP has announced that he is leaving the Conservative Party and joining the United Kingdom Independence Party.  Helmer has been an MEP for the East Midlands region since 1999, having been re-elected in 2004 and again in 2009.  He has made his concerns over Conservative policy very public in recent months, not least on the pages of ConHome.  He made his announcement at UKIP’s Spring Conference in Skegness - the premier seaside resort in his East Midlands Region.
Commenting on his decision, Helmer says:

“The fact is that UKIP represents the values and convictions of East Midlands Conservatives much better than Cameron’s Tory Party does.  I believe I can do a better job representing those views and interests as a member of UKIP than I could in the Tory Party.  The European project is collapsing before our eyes, yet the three main parties remain wedded to the Brussels dream.  UKIP is the only party which is ahead of the curve on this issue, and on other issues as well”.

He has written the following letter to colleagues in the Conservative Party.

"Dear Colleagues,
I am writing to let you know that after a great deal of thought, and much heart-searching, I have decided to leave the Conservative Party, and to join the United Kingdom Independence Party.
After decades with the Conservative Party, this has been a tough decision to take.  I well understand that many of my friends and colleagues in the Party will greet the news with dismay, and I greatly regret that.

Continue reading "Roger Helmer MEP explains why he has defected from the Conservatives to UKIP" »

1 Mar 2012 12:52:51

Under Martin Callanan's leadership the gap between the Tory grassroots and our MEPs was never narrower

By Tim Montgomerie
Follow Tim on Twitter

Callanan Martin 470

Martin Callanan has announced that he's standing down as leader of Tory MEPs. This will precipitate a fascinating 14th March election to succeed him - of which more very soon.

Martin is stepping down because he was recently elected as the Chairman of the eight nation European Conservatives and Reformists group - this was the group established after David Cameron took the Conservative Party out of the EPP.

Martin's leadership of the MEPs has been relatively brief but it hasn't been insignificant. He has been outspoken on issues like the impoverishment of Greece by the dangerous at-all-cost efforts to keep the €uro together. He has also pointed out that the EU's climate change policies are very dangerous if they are unilateral. For a long time our delegation at the European Parliament seemed very remote from grassroot Tories. Not today. Martin has closed the gap and his regular diary pieces for ConHome (eg this one) have, I hope, helped increase understanding of what Tory MEPs are doing on Britain's behalf.

Commenting on his decision Martin Callanan said:

"It has been a privilege to serve as Leader of Conservative MEPs for the last 16 months. It has been a tumultuous time for the EU and a fascinating time to lead the delegation. I am proud of the successes that Conservative MEPs are achieving and the hard work that we put in to defend the national interest. I would love to stay on but my commitment as the newly-elected chairman of our wider European grouping requires my full-time dedication. It was an enormous privilege to have been elected leader of the ECR last December. Our new movement is well established in Brussels and Strasbourg and I now intend to devote all of my time towards expanding its numbers, raising its profile, and positioning it as the only serious political force in Europe that delivers a common sense approach. The Conservative Party can be very proud of the new political movement we helped to create. It is a force for change that, in the current climate, can only get stronger."

14 Feb 2012 10:06:06

The European Parliament flies the Union Jack upside down

By Tim Montgomerie
Follow Tim on Twitter

Earlier today Roger Helmer MEP tweeted that the Union Flag was flying upside down outside of the European Parliament. Here's the proof:


Mr Helmer has written to the President of the Parliament asking for the insult to be corrected:

"Arriving at the parliament this morning around 7:00 a.m., I noticed that in the line of national flags, the flag of my country, the Union jack, was flying upside down (as it was when I first arrived at the Strasbourg parliament in 1999).  May I ask if this is merely an oversight, or a deliberate snub? May I also ask what action you propose to take to ensure that this does not happen again?"

27 Jan 2012 13:01:44

Tory backbenchers Bill Cash, John Redwood and Bernard Jenkin warn of the dangers of an "undemocratic" EU

By Joseph Willits 
Follow Joseph on Twitter

Bill_cash_mpIn a backbench debate on the European Council yesterday, veteran Eurosceptic MP Bill Cash warned that a proposed fiscal union would be both undemocratic as a whole, and damage the national interests of the UK. The Liberal Democrats, he said were currently an "obstruction to our vital national interests", and it was crucial for the House to be united on the future of Europe: 

"A house divided against itself will fall, and the situation will be worse still if it is built on sand. There are now two Europes, both built on sand, and the situation is not only precarious but dangerous."

Whilst a lack of growth in the Eurozone was "contaminating the UK economy", the situation across much of Europe was more worrying, Cash said:

"Elsewhere in Europe it is creating civil disorder, with youth unemployment of up to 45% in Greece and Spain, and 30% in Italy'"

In its present form, the European Union is "completely undemocratic" said Cash, and that "existing treaties should be sent to a convention so that all the member states could have the opportunity to face one another and decide what kind of Europe they want". Cash's most chilling prediction, was that a trend of a lack of democracy which exists within the current setup of the EU had the potential to mobilise the far right:

Continue reading "Tory backbenchers Bill Cash, John Redwood and Bernard Jenkin warn of the dangers of an "undemocratic" EU " »

24 Jan 2012 11:18:21

Downgrades, stitch-ups - and bad news for rats: Martin Callanan MEP's latest Diary


Once again as MEPs gathered in Strasbourg on a Monday, they were still feeling the tremors from events the previous Friday.

Last month it was the Cameron veto that had left Conservatives stirred and our opponents shaken.

This month it was the downgrade of France's credit rating that was causing an almighty kerfuffle.

When the news came through that Standard and Poor's were relieving President Sarkozy of his country's triple-A grading, there was a collective intake of breath across the continent.

The eurocrats were still reeling - still smarting - on Monday as the parliamentary travelling circus headed for Strasbourg. Back in Brussels, the EU´s spin doctorate was on top "we know best" form, venting the Commission's spleen over the credit rating agencies.

"We have better information and analysis than they do," a spokesman said. Oh really? Then wouldn't it be helpful - one smart journalist asked - if you published the good news. Then it would be of some use.

It was a "put up or shut up" challenge. Yet the Commission press team's response was - wait for it - that publishing the information would be too much trouble.

It made me wonder just how much trouble counts as too much - too much, that is, to protect the euro's integrity (as the commission would have it) from the reckless calumny of the credit ratings agencies.

Continue reading "Downgrades, stitch-ups - and bad news for rats: Martin Callanan MEP's latest Diary" »

22 Dec 2011 12:15:45

Martin Callanan MEP's report from the European Parliament

Martin Callanan is leader of the Tory MEPs.

Of course, we were supposed to be feeling "isolated". That was according to the newspapers with a federalist leaning - and especially if you listened to the BBC.

We were meant to be marginalised and misled too, but above all - "isolated". That was the buzzword on every corporation newsreader's lips and every euro-mad leader-writer's spell-check.

Yet isolated was about the last thing Tory MEPs were feeling as we gathered in Strasbourg for last week's plenary session. On the Monday after "Veto Friday", we felt united, hopeful, energised: all of those things; but isolated? Not that you would notice.

"Isolated" implies vulnerability, fear, even regret. On the contrary, Conservatives were feeling confident, invigorated and - not to put too fine a point on it - right.

Inevitably, there was a backlash against us in the parliament chamber. On Tuesday, the EPP's leader Joseph Daul provocatively said the Prime Minister's veto showed we in Britain lacked "solidarity" with the rest of the EU. He said we should therefore forfeit our hard-fought rebate (or as much of it as Labour hadn't already handed back). If anyone still thinks we should never have left the EPP, please take heed.

Continue reading "Martin Callanan MEP's report from the European Parliament" »

14 Dec 2011 15:30:09

First they were whipped to back Cameron's veto. Then they were whipped not to. More dither and muddle from the Liberal Democrats.

By Joseph Willits 
Follow Joseph on Twitter

At PMQs today, David Cameron was asked about the decision by all Liberal Democrat MPs to collectively defy a three-line whip, and abstain from voting on a motion defending Cameron's EU treay veto. Although Cameron didn't elaborate further on the Liberal Democrat position, he did express his gratitude to the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), who had decided to table the motion due to the veto being in the "vital interest" of the British people.

Yesterday morning, Nick Clegg had said that Liberal Democrat MPs should vote in favour of the motion, but swiftly did a u-turn in the evening and ordered them to abstain. Only one Liberal Democrat MP, Martin Horwood (Cheltenham) spoke at the debate, saying the outcome of the Brussels summit was "not a good one". Horwood also attacked eurosceptic Tory MPs, saying: 

"The process is still a long way from complete and there are quite a few obstacles in its path, some of them sitting in this Chamber, I think."

Continue reading "First they were whipped to back Cameron's veto. Then they were whipped not to. More dither and muddle from the Liberal Democrats." »

12 Dec 2011 16:50:13

David Cameron's statement on the European Council to the House of Commons

David Cameron addressed the House of Commons about his decision to veto the EU Treaty. Here is his statement in full: 


With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to make a statement on last week’s European Council.

I went to Brussels with one objective: to protect Britain’s national interest. And that is what I did.

Let me refer back to what I said to this House last Wednesday.

I made it clear that if the Eurozone countries wanted a treaty involving all 27 Members of the European Union we would insist on some safeguards for Britain to protect our own national interests. Some thought what I was asking for was relatively modest. Nevertheless, satisfactory safeguards were not forthcoming and so I didn’t agree to the Treaty.

Mr Speaker, let me be clear about exactly what happened, what it means for Britain what I see happening next.

Mr Speaker, let me take the House through the events of last week.

Continue reading "David Cameron's statement on the European Council to the House of Commons " »

1 Dec 2011 15:57:28

New Conservative MEP Anthea McIntyre confirmed

By Matthew Barrett
Follow Matthew on Twitter.

Picture 7We reported more than a year ago that the United Kingdom would receive a 73rd MEP as part of the European Parliament's changes to various countries' representation as a result of the Lisbon Treaty. 

Today, Anthea McIntyre was officially named as the new Conservative MEP for the West Midlands region, which was deemed to deserve an extra seat. 

The Electoral Commission decided who would have won the seat had it been available in the 2009 European Parliamentary elections, and Miss McIntyre was identified as the correct candidate. She will serve the rest of the Parliamentary term, which expires in 2014.

Miss McIntyre runs her own business as a management consultant. She is married to Frank Myers and they live in Ross-on-Wye. She said:

"This is a great honour. I am looking forward to the challenges ahead, working hard for the interests of the people of the West Midlands."

> In 2008, we interviewed Miss McIntyre as one of the candidates for the West Midlands seat.

22 Nov 2011 13:07:24

Martin Callanan MEP's report from the European Parliament

Martin Callanan is leader of the Tory MEPs.

Strasbourg had even more of an Alice in Wonderland feel about it than usual this week, especially so when I sat down briefly to go through Thursday morning's press.

In the national file there was the Financial Times, clearly keen to cement its reputation as the Euro-federalists' bible, having a swipe at me and my colleagues under a headline "European Tories deal green blow to premier".

The article had swallowed wholesale the spin from a Labour press release effectively accusing us of being environmental thugs and vandals, simply because Conservative MEPs refused to support an attempt to further burden industry by unilaterally increasing the EU's carbon reduction target from 20 to 30 per cent. Notably, the FT was the only paper to run the release.

In my regional press file, a cutting from the Newcastle Journal. No political point-scoring here, only the desperately sad news that Rio Tinto Zinc is to close its Alcan smelting plant in Lynemouth, Northumberland with the loss of over 500 jobs.

Continue reading "Martin Callanan MEP's report from the European Parliament" »

19 Nov 2011 09:01:47

Tory MEPs claim victory as budget increase is limited to 2.02%

By Tim Montgomerie
Follow Tim on Twitter

The European Parliament had originally wanted an increase in the EU's budget of 5.2% but an agreement was struck at 3am this morning which should limit the increase to 2.02%.

Screen shot 2011-11-19 at 09.00.32James Elles MEP, budget spokesman and lead negotiator for Britain's Conservative MEPs, issued this press statement:

"Our consistent argument in favour of a freeze in the budget has succeeded in preventing an increase that would have been outlandish and unacceptable in such tough economic times. The Prime Minister greatly helped and led the way by stating early in the process that a standstill had to be the goal. He then rallied other key nations to that view, and in negotiations that pressure bore down heavily on the parliament's unrealistic ambitions. To trim spending is the only responsible way when sovereign debt is undermining the euro and the global economy. Our persistence is winning over other groups and MEPs to our philosphy that the EU needs to spend just as much effort on saving funds as spending them."

Of course 2.02% is better than 5.2% but the EU is still going to get more from British taxpayers at a time when UK budgets for the police, army and roads are being cut.