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Tories were only governing conservative party in western Europe to support Hungarian far-right in EU vote

The Tories had been the one governing conservative get together in western Europe to vote en masse in help of Viktor Orban’s far-right authorities, an evaluation of votes by The Unbiased has discovered.

The Conservatives whipped their 19 MEPs to oppose motion in opposition to Hungary, with only one defiantly voting for the movement. 

The European Parliament voted by a two-thirds majority, 448–197, to begin the Article 7 course of in opposition to Hungary, which has been accused of violating press freedoms, undermining judicial independence, and waging an antisemitic marketing campaign in opposition to a number one Jewish businessman.

The Conservatives, who lined up with the continent’s far-right, argued the movement was “politicised” and counterproductive, however critics at dwelling accused them of intentionally cosying as much as Mr Orban to win his help in Brexit talks. 

Arriving in Strasbourg, a grateful Mr Orban heaped praised on the British authorities, telling reporters: “We want to have a good Brexit as a result of we love the British and since we cooperated at all times properly – and also you deserve a superb deal, a good deal.”

Of the Tory MEPs, solely Nosheena Mobarik rebelled to vote for the movement, whereas two others, Charles Tannock and Sajjad Karim, abstained. Individually, Richard Ashworth and Julie Girling, who had been elected as Conservatives however left their political group over Brexit and don’t take the whip, additionally backed motion.

In addition to undermining civil rights, the judiciary, and attacking Jewish businessman George Soros, Mr Orban’s authorities is topic to allegations of corruption referring to the alleged misspending of EU funds by his family and friends. Mr Orban himself has described refugees as “Muslim invaders” and been accused of being deeply Islamophobic.

The Conservatives’ votes had been almost decisive, as a result of the movement required a two-thirds majority to move, and solely did so by 22 votes.

Within the continent’s east, Bulgarian governing conservative get together GERB and the governing Croatian Democratic Union joined the Tories to lend their help to Hungary’s authorities.

However many of the help for Viktor Orban got here from the far-right and populists, corresponding to Poland’s Legislation and Justice Get together, Italy’s League, and France’s just lately rebranded Nationwide Entrance. Teams just like the Sweden Democrats, Austrian FPOe, and Ukip opposed the movement.

Only a handful of western European conservative MEPs opposed the movement, with no others being whipped to take action. Solely three of Spain’s 17-member conservative delegation did so, in addition to three of France’s 19-member group. Austria’s conservative OeVP MEPs all voted in favour of motion after an intervention by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

Viktor Orban and Theresa Might at an EU summit

In Germany, 4 MEPs from the Bavarian CSU voted in opposition to the movement in a free vote, however get together chief Manfred Weber supported the censure. One MEP from Angela Merkel’s huge CDU delegation additionally rebelled to help Mr Orban. 

Amongst opposition conservative events, MEPs from Poland’s opposition conservative Civic Platform get together principally backed the movement, whereas Italian allies of Silvio Berlusconi voted in opposition to it, as did the Slovenian delegation.

Opposition events strongly criticised the Conservatives’ choice. Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell stated: “Is Theresa Might going to name out these Tory MEPs, who had been whipped to vote to help Viktor Orban in opposition to a censure movement for his assaults on refugees and his antisemitism and Islamophobia? If not, I wouldn’t advise her to lecture anybody on racism once more.”

Forward of the vote, Conservative MEP dwelling affairs spokesperson Daniel Dalton stated the movement “crosses a boundary by politicising what ought to be a purely authorized matter”. He argued that MEPs ought to have “no position to play” in triggering Article 7, although the textual content Article in truth particularly provides powers to the European Parliament.

If the Article 7 process is taken to its conclusion it might see Hungary stripped of its voting rights on the European Council.

The Unbiased has launched its #FinalSay marketing campaign to demand that voters are given a voice on the ultimate Brexit deal.

Sign our petition here

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