Wednesday, December 14

Will they or wont they....? The story of the Tories and UKIP.

The Conservative leadership battle has been fought and won in Westminster, but David Cameron's victory is still the cause of great uproar in the European Parliament.
In the recent Tory leadership battle Cameron pledged to take Tory MEPs out of the European People's Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament, where they sit with other centre right parties from all over the EU.
Dissatisfied with how business is being done in the European Parliament, Cameron has vowed to establish a new more hard lined right wing grouping of Tory MEPs and any other Eurosceptics.
This has been the cause of great dissatisfaction with the majority of Conservative MEPs as many hold positions of influence within the EPP group and the Parliament, which they would be set to lose under Cameron's plans.
All this is of course music to the ears of UKIP leader in the European Parliament Nigel Farage.It is rumoured Farage is flirting with seven rebel Tory MEPs in an attempt to lure them away from the EPP and bring them over to the UKIP benches.
These are most likely to be the seven Tory MEPs who voted against Conservative Leader in the European Parliament, Timothy Kirkhope who faced a leadership challenge from his Euro sceptic Tory colleague Chris Heaton Harris MEP last week.
However, most Conservative MEPs are ready to defy Cameron's orders to withdraw from the EPP group.
Earlier this week one of Cameron's former leadership rivals, Kenneth Clarke, accused him of taking a "head-banging" approach to Europe warning him off a possible new alliance with the likes of UKIP.
He told the BBC Politics Show that he feared Mr Cameron was too committed to the plan, and warned that "waltzing off" looking for new "ultra-nationalist" allies would be a disastrous way for the leader to announce himself on the world stage.
Scottish MEP Struan Stevenson also criticised Cameron's plan this week, saying that
Tory MEPS would have no alternative but to sit with "a ragbag of fascists and outcasts", again referring to the likes of UKIP.

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