Conservative Diary

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In less than a month we will no longer have to listen to Christopher Beazley and Caroline Jackson

In what appears like a coordinated attempt to derail the Tories' European Elections Campaign, retiring Tory MEP Christopher Beazley has accused David Cameron of being "anti-European" and seeking "to rip up 30 years of work by British Tory pro-Europeans".  Mr Beazley's attack follows Tuesday's intervention by Caroline Jackson MEP.  Mrs Jackson, wife of defector Robert Jackson, said Mr Cameron's pledge to leave the EPP was a "stupid, stupid policy".  In a month's time both will no longer be MEPs and we can only hope their repetitive eruptions will be ignored by Fleet Street.

Francois-Mark Mark Francois, Tory Europe spokesman, writes a letter to today's FT - rebutting that newspaper's charge that the Tories will be isolated in Europe.

Mr Francois says that "The Conservative's voice in the European parliament will be strengthened by the establishment of a new group dedicated to an open, flexible, non-federalist Europe, a view of Europe that has no champion under the current political groupings."  He promises that "a Conservative government would be active, energetic and engaged in the EU."  "We are," he writes, "enthusiastic about the EU's role in the single market, energy liberalisation and climate change."

In a year's time, if Cameron wins a large majority, he will be one of Europe's strongest leaders and there is no way he will be isolated.  The Conservative Party already has good working relations with centre right parties in Sweden, Germany and France, in particular - with joint working parties debating policy.

Tim Montgomerie

PS Meanwhile, according to the Belfast Telegraph, "European election hopeful Jim Nicholson has told of his pride at being the first candidate jointly endorsed by the UUP and Conservative Party."


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