Sunday, March 18, 2007

Maude Tells EPP Supporting MEPs They're Finished

Tory Party Chairman Francis Maude has sensationally said that any MEP who fails to commit to signing up to the new European Grouping of right of centre MEPS will be precluded from standing under the Conservative banner at the next Euro elections. In a yet to be broadcast CHALLENGE THE CHAIRMAN interview with Tory Radio's Jonathan Sheppard. Here's the relevant extract...

Francis Maude: I think it would be very odd, given that David Cameron has made a clear commitment that there will be a new grouping after 2009 elections, if we were selecting candidates who were anything less than completely committed to joining whatever grouping the leader of the party negotiated.
Jonathan Sheppard: So we would want any candidates to back the new grouping
Francis Maude: That almost goes without saying.

So, apart from Christopher Beazley, who are the "Tory" MEPs who have said they will refuse to leave the EPP?


Ted Heath's Dinner said...

I'm guessing they will be the moderately sensible Tory-types who don't want to hang around with homophobes, anti-semites, etc in the European Parliament. The type of chap who thinks it probably isn't beneficial for the Conservative Party or indeed the UK for David Cameron to be ignored by the German chancellor because of his eccentric positioning in the EU.

Jonathan Sheppard said...

The interview will go online at 20:00 tonight.

Praguetory said...

Merkel isn't averse to spending time with Czech Euro-sceptics. The only eccentric position on Europe are those like Merkel who think that the Constitution can be revived and that the EU is performing.

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

Ted Heath's Dinner,

You give the Parliament more credit than people actually care to.

Do you really think that most people in the UK have much concern about the European Parliament, let alone the various groups? Could 10%- even 5%- name the group that the Conservatives currently belong to and their main opposition group?

If we're to talk about his eccentric positioning in the EU, it's that he's chosen to take up the cause of repealing non-existent legislation and agreements (read 'Social Chapter').

kingbongo said...

This is the best news of the weekend. Not having DOCTOR Caroline Jackson on the list will mean I can go and vote in the Euro elections instead of spoiling my ballot paper.

Modern Conservative said...

Jonathon should know although he says this only went online at 8.00pm this evening as a Tory Radio subscriber I got it on m itunes podcast dowload this morning whrn I fired it up at 10.00am

This isn't even vaguely sensational as a story the Conservative Party expects it's MEP's to join the group it's party leader tells them too - sorry Iain this is a non-story

Lagwolf said...

Good thing to see but one has to wonder if Maude will stick to his strong words.

more vulgar than a vulcans vulva said...

Good. Excellent. Fantastic. Superb! And about bloody time!

Our "Conservative" contingent of MEP's is the only part of our party which still possesses a substantial number of Europhiles. There is still a clear fissure between the sceptics (Hannan/Deva) and 'philes (Beazley/Jackson) which causes us no end of problems - and headlines for the BBC on "Tory Splits over EU".

I have no respect for the 'philes. They have been blackmailing, bullying and threatening the party leadership for years over our european policies and we haven't done anything about it. So, good riddance to them. There are *plenty* of other genuine Conservative candidates around the country waiting to take their place.

Also, this "argument" about not joining a new European bloc because it is dominated by loonies & extremists is hogwash. It is just scaremongering by the dominant party blocs to stop their own position being undermined. If any of the existing moderate parties had the balls to resist this scaremongering - and baseless accusations of "anti-semitism" and other such nonsense - you'd soon find the extremists marginalised.

Let's have some leadership here. A Conservative led eurosceptic group will convey some much-needed respectability to the new eurosceptic bloc and will lead to many other moderate parties joining over time.

We need the balls to take the plunge first and encourage our other European partners to do the same. Only a strong eurosceptic bloc in the EU parliament can offer a voice for reform.

It is down to us and only strong leadership will do this. Cameron, Maude and Hague need to have the courage of their convictions and deliver.

Lee Rotherham said...

The answer to your question, Iain, can be found on

We also had some subsequent feedback, such as Den Dover clarifying he wanted out.

In any event, we're about to hit the rue Belliard equivalent of salmon spawning season, when sitting MEPs start sending out state-funded publicity pretending to be Eurosceptic, so the excellent will soon have its work cut out...

Helen said...

I don't understand. The new grouping will not exist until after the next European election (if Topolanek, hardly a homophobic anti-semite, comes to terms with Cameron's outdated greenism). So how can people be forced to sign up to it now? I recall that when Cameron announced that Tory MEPs were not leaving the EPP in any hurry, he also said that anyone who does not like the situation will be thrown off the list. An awful lot of threats going on here.