Euro Tories go native
A Conservative MEP had his party membership suspended yesterday by the head of the British Tory delegation in the European Parliament after an angry debate about excessive European Union secrecy.
Four other British Conservatives were threatened with expulsion from the European People's Party, the parliament's majority centre-Right faction, by the EPP's German leader, Hans-Gert Poettering...
The suspension was triggered after Mr Helmer publicly accused the Tory leader in the European Parliament, Timothy Kirkhope, of "inappropriately" demanding he remove his name from a motion of censure against the European Commission.
Mr Helmer accused Mr Poettering of being behind that "pressure", telling the EPP leader he had "brought shame on this House".
Moments later the German MEP abruptly told parliament that Mr Helmer was no longer a member of his grouping, a declaration that followed no known parliamentary rule.
Within hours Mr Helmer was stripped of his British Tory whip - a move that angry colleagues said was designed to save Mr Poettering's face.
So Euro Tory MEPs are meant to dance to the tune of a German politician rather than represent their constituents or party at home - I will remember that next time they come asking for my vote.