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MEPs grill UK's Hill again over lobbying past

brussels bureau

MEPs grill UK's Hill again over lobbying past


The politician picked by Prime Minister David Cameron to be Britain’s next man in Brussels has faced a second round of questioning from MEPs.

Jonathan Hill went on a charm offensive on Tuesday, dismissing British press reports that painted him as a eurosceptic as untrue.

But it is as yet unclear whether he had done enough to win backing from parliamentarians.

Hill again faced repeated questioning about his lobbying past.

“To state the case extremely simply, there are no conflict of interests; I have no financial interests of any sort from the past,” said the Conservative peer.

“I will behave in the interest of the whole European Union, not in the interests of any member state or indeed of any financial interests within any particular member state.”

Yet leading German Green MEP Sven Giegold said he still had some concern about Hill’s nomination as financial services commissioner.

“The doubts remain about the portfolio because he’s not ready to live up to the transparency he promised for the future,” said Giegold.

“He was not giving us names for which financial services companies he worked for and therefore he seems like a man who seems like he has something to hide.”

Ashley Fox, a British Conservative MEP, rallied around Hill, suggesting that there was an ‘anti-British’ bias against him amongst some parliamentarians.

“I thought Jonathan Hill gave a very confident performance. In fact he gave a good performance last time. I don’t think that it was the performance that was really the reason for him being called back,” said Fox.

“He was called back because he is a British conservative. So there are political reasons why we are going through this second hearing.”

MEPs will vote on the whole European Commission on October 22nd.

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