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Jan Zahradil beats Timothy Kirkhope for leadership of European Conservatives and Reformists

Screen shot 2011-03-09 at 08.03.46The Czech MEP, Zahradil, was the Eurosceptics' choice. He won by 33 MEPs to 18.  He is pictured on the right with Europe Minister, David Lidington. Details later.

8am, Wednesday morning: From Dan Hannan MEP's blog: "Jan is a fine politician and a fine man: a free-marketeer, a Eurosceptic, a libertarian, a flinty Czech patriot who is also a committed Anglophile and Atlanticist... So what will the Europhiles say about Jan? It won’t be easy to make him out as a Neanderthal: he speaks six languages and is liberal about immigration and gay equality. So far, the best that his detractors have come up with is that he is a “climate change sceptic”, by which they mean that he deviates in parts from the Rio-Kyoto-Copenhagen-Cancun agenda. Then again, Jan is a trained scientist whose university thesis was about the effects of pollution: he has not formed his opinions lightly. If he is a sceptic, it is in the literal sense of being unwilling to accept assertions without supporting evidence. That, of course, is why he was so quick to see through the Brussels racket."


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