Cracks are already appearing in the Conservative and Reformists at the European Parliament over claims that the group’s leader is anti-semitic and homophobic. The group is dominated by Britain’s Conservatives and Polish and Czech euro-sceptic right-wingers.
A Conservative MEP of 25 years, Edward McMillan-Scott, defied the group by standing against the official ECR candidate, Michal Kaminsky, for one of the Parliament’s vice-president’s posts. McMillan-Scott won, and Kaminsky was given the group’s chairmanship instead. But the veteran Tory voiced concerns about what he called “extremism” within the new group, and pointed to Kaminsky’s long-standing membership of the Polish NOP party whose website shows homophobic and anti-Israeli images along with a symbol reminiscent of a swastika. McMillan-Scott’s rebellion went right to the top. He was thrown out of the European Conservative and Reformist group and the UK Tory delegation with the agreement, according to a Tory spokesman in Strasbourg, of the party leader David Cameron.