Monday, December 13

UKIP call Tory MP Cash's bluff over Europe

For more than a decade, Staffordshire Conservative MP Bill Cash has been the public face of euro-scepticism.

But now he has been targeted by the United Kingdom Independence Party - for not being critical of Europe enough.

Their deputy leader Mike Nattrass, a West Midlands MEP, has been chosen to fight Mr Cash's Stone seat at the next General Election.

UKIP, which has its headquarters in Birmingham, is putting up one of its strongest candidates because they believe Mr Cash is merely "posing" as a euro-sceptic which might come as a surprise to the MP himself. He led the campaign against the Maastricht treaty which almost destroyed John Major's government, voting against it 47 times.

He can also be relied upon to mention the EU almost every time he speaks in the Commons. However, UKIP said he did support Maastricht.

Mr Nattrass said: "So far, Mr Cash has been posing as a eurosceptic. Does he believe in the sovereignty of Parliament and the self-determination of the British electorate in all matters or does he believe that powers should be ceded to the EU?

"If he believes in the former he should sign a UKIP membership application form immediately and fight the seat as a UKIP candidate".

Paul Barnish, chairman of the UKIP Stone Constituency Association, said: "I am delighted that this branch will stand up against Bill Cash who for too long has been trying to get the best of both worlds by facing in both directions."

Source: Birmingham Post, December 10th 2004

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