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Martin Callanan elected to lead the Conservative MEPs

By Jonathan Isaby

CALLANAN MARTIN Breaking news from Brussels: North East MEP Martin Callanan has just been elected to lead the Conservative delegation in the European Parliament.

He won the three-way fight, beating Richard Ashworth and Charles Tannock, securing more than 50% of the vote on the first ballot.

He set out his stall here on ConservativeHome last week, saying:

"If I am elected leader of the Conservative delegation next week I will ensure that we lend our solid, but not slavish, support to the Conservative led Government in Westminster.

  • We must stick to our manifesto commitments and never again allow powers and competences to be transferred to Europe without a referendum.
  • We must never join the Euro.
  • We must continue the fight to not only freeze, but to reduce the budget of the EU. At a time when we are asking people to tighten belts at home, we cannot give away increasing amounts of taxpayers' hard earned cash.
  • We must continue to fight against the ludicrous system whereby the entire Parliament, its staff and tonnes of documents are moved from Brussels to Strasbourg once a month at huge cost to the taxpayer."

Whilst his election is an endorsement of his leadership skills and ability to unite the group, it can also be interpreted as a sign of a Rightward shift in the delegation, with Callanan certainly being the most eurosceptic leader yet of the Tory MEPs.

Meanwhile, Giles Chichester beat Jacqui Foster for the deputy leadership and Ashley Fox and Emma McClarkin were elected to serve on the the bureau, beating Philip Bradbourn and Struan Stevenson. Syed Kamall was returned as Treasurer unopposed.

Congratulations to them all.


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