Conservative Diary

« The Tories must stop the Charity Commission's war on private schools | Main | Whatever happened to The Telegraph's coverage of the Conservatives? »

Not an auspicious start for the European Conservatives and Reformists

KEEPINGanEYE This afternoon British Conservative MEPs will decide who will lead the new grouping of European Conservatives and Reformists.  The leadership won't be decided by Tory MEPs in concert with our Czech, Polish and other allied MEPs but by us alone.

Last week the existing leader of the Tory MEPs - Timothy Kirkhope - appeared before his colleagues and told them that after consultation with the leaders of the Czech and Polish members of the group he would be interim leader of the whole group as existing leader of Tory MEPs.  The leaders had decided to allocate various jobs between them - including rallying around a Law & Justice candidate for the plum Parliament-wide job of Vice-President (effectively Deputy Speaker)*.

VAN ORDEN GEOFFREY This arrangement will favour Mr Kirkhope winning the election later today.  If the election had been amongst all ECR MEPs it was very possible that Geoffrey Van Orden MEP (pictured) would become group leader as it was GVO who has been criss-crossing Europe over recent months (and years) building contacts with our new partners.

All the other groups in the European Parliament - including the EPP - elect their leaders from a vote of all their members.  It is disappointing that this carve up is the first act of our new grouping.

Tim Montgomerie

* The L&J candidate may not win the Vice Presidency of the Parliament because Edward Macmillan-Scott MEP is also standing.  Elected on a promise to serve the new grouping Mr Macmillan-Scott has decided to rebel and may win the role (which involves a lot of globe trotting) because of mischief-voting by EPP MEPs.  All very pathetic.


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.