Sajjad Karim MEP

24 Jul 2013 12:05:33

Sajjad Karim, Tory MEP, labels eurosceptics a "Taliban"

By Mark Wallace
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Sajjad KarimAnnoyingly, the term "Taliban" has gained currency as a vague political insult - often, I suspect, used by those who lack the gumption to call anyone a Nazi. One example of the tendency comes from Vince Cable this morning, discussing the Bank of England.

Another comes from a Conservative MEP - discussing eurosceptic members of his own party.

The Daily Mail reports of Sajjid Karim:

"Writing on Twitter during a debate on Europe, he said: 'It seems the anti-EU taliban find it difficult to accept a different point of view!'

He added: 'The ANTI-EU TALIBAN don't want an informed British public or an informed debate. Bring it on!'"

A lot of Conservatives who would happily describe themselves as anti-EU would be surprised to hear one of the party's elected representatives label them an intolerant "Taliban". It certainly isn't a productive contribution to the debate, or helpful in improving relations between the party and its members.

It is one thing to disagree with people on your own side, and the Tory party is rightly a broad church, but it is quite another to go out of one's way to insult them.

Continue reading "Sajjad Karim, Tory MEP, labels eurosceptics a "Taliban"" »

15 Jun 2013 15:25:40

MEP candidates and hustings for North East, North West and Yorkshire

By Mark Wallace
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We now have full shortlists for the European Election lists in the North East, North West and Yorkshire - along with information on the first hustings at which party members can quiz the candidates before ranking them.

Here's a reminder of the selection process: first, the regional selectoral college decide which candidates to shortlist. If MEPs are reselected, they automatically go above the non-MEP candidates on the eventual list, and non-MEP candidates make up the rest of the shortlist. Now that the shortlists are confirmed, party members use postal votes to rank the MEPs and the non-MEPs in the order they will be listed at the election next year.

North East Candidates

Martin Callanan MEP

Ben Houchen

Andy Lee

John Sharp

Yorkshire Candidates

Timothy Kirkhope MEP

Caroline Abbott

Fleur Butler

Michael Naughton

Spencer Pitfield

Karl Poulsen

John Proctor

Alex Story

Yorkshire Hustings:

  • Saturday 15th June: 10am at The Lodge at Leeming Bar, Great North Road, Bedale, DL8 1DT
  • Monday 17th June: 7pm at The Viking Hotel, Western Road, Goole, DN14 6RG
  • Friday 21st June: 7pm at Rio Grande, 144 Woodhead Road, Bradford, BD7 1PH

North West Candidates

Jacqueline Foster MEP

Sajjad Karim MEP

Joe Barker

Kevin Beaty

Deborah Dunleavy

Charles Fifield

Daniel Hamilton

Greg Morgan

James Walsh

Chris Whiteside

North West Hustings: 

  • Lancashire: Monday 17th June: 7pm at Preston North End Football Club, Sir Tom Finney Way, Preston, PR1 6RU
  • Cheshire East: Tuesday 25th June: 7pm at Toft Cricket Club,  Chelford Road, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 8QX 
  • Cheshire West and Cheshire: Thursday 27th June: 7pm at Ellesmere Port Conservative Club, Worcester Walk, off Westminster Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 2ES (satnav postcode CH65 2AA)

NB 1: Charles Fifield and Chris Whiteside did not appear on the original North West list this site was given - this is now the complete list.

NB 2: Some regional hustings may require pre-registration to attend - members are advised to check with constituency chairmen to confirm their attendance.

16 May 2013 15:15:06

MEP shortlists for the North West and London

By Mark Wallace
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Following Scotland's selections last week, the North West and London have now carried out the first stage of selecting candidates for next year's European elections.

Readers may need a reminder of the slightly obscure process: first the regional electoral college choose the shortlist. If sitting MEPs are reapproved at this stage then they automatically go to the top of the list.

After that, the party members in the region rank the remaining candidates in order by postal vote. 

These are therefore the unranked shortlists, and are presented in alphabetical order by surname.

Continue reading "MEP shortlists for the North West and London" »

1 Mar 2011 10:17:04

Tory MEPs blame Labour for opening the floodgates which led to today's ECJ insurance sex discrimination ruling

By Jonathan Isaby

As anticipated by me last night and Alex Deane this morning, the European Court of Justice has indeed now ruled that insurance companies charging different premiums for men and women are in contravention of Article 8 of the EU Treaty - meaning that younger women will no longer be able to get cheaper car insurance on the basis that they are far less likely to be involved in an accident.

Conservaitve MEPs have just issued the following reactions:

CALLANAN MARTIN Martin Callanan, the leader of the Tory MEPs said:

"The last Labour government is to blame for this. The EU's top adviser based her advice on the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the Lisbon Treaty which Labour signed us up to. They have opened the floodgates to nonsense court rulings like this one and yet again we are paying dearly for the utter mess they bequeathed to us.

"Had Labour given us the referendum on the Treaty that they promised, women might not be facing devastating hikes in already sky-high motoring bills."

Picture 6 Meanwhile, Sajjad Karim, the Conservative legal affairs spokesman in Brussels, added:

"This ruling is utter madness. It is a setback for common sense. It is a statistical reality that young men have more accidents than women so it should be reflected in their premiums.

"Once again we have seen how an activist European Court can over-interpret the Treaty. The EU's rules on sex discrimination specifically permit discrimination in insurance if there is data to back it up. Unelected judges have overruled the will of democratically elected MEPs and governments; is it any wonder people are do disenchanted with the EU?

"Boy racers will now have even more money to buy unsafe fast cars, whilst safer drivers will be hit hard in their insurance premiums. This is a victory for boy-racers and a major blow for both democracy and careful women drivers."