Tories in secret alliance talks with neo-fascists

BRITISH TORIES have had secret talks with Italian neo-fascists to form an alliance in the European Parliament after Thursday's election.

The Europe leader of the Alleanza Nazionale, successor party to Mussolini's fascists, told The Independent she believed the Conservatives would join them in a new coalition in Strasbourg. Christiana Muscardini MEP said she had had talks in London with Tory MPs who want to break away from "federalist" Christian Democrats in the parliament. Gianfranco Fini, her party president, also attended the talks.

The Conservatives would team up with the French Gaullists, the late Sir James Goldsmith's French anti-federalist party, the Alleanza Nazionale, Portuguese MEPs and others to form their own group in Strasbourg.

Tory sources said William Hague is understood to be sympathetic but is keen to avert a dispute with his pro-European MEPs. He will wait for results of the poll before assessing the move. The disclosure will be seized on by Labour as proof that the Tories have become the "extremist party" on Europe.

The Eurosceptics' calls for a break with the Christian Democrats will be boosted today when several moderate French and German MEPs formally endorse the breakaway Pro-Euro Conservative party.

The move is driven by Tory Eurosceptics determined to end their party's affiliation with the European People's Party (EPP), the second-largest group in Brussels after the Socialists. The EPP, made up of Christian Democrat MEPs from across the continent, backs the single currency, tax harmonisation and faster political integration.

Ms Muscardini, who said the EPP link had left the Tories "in a condition of submission that favours the Germans", said she had had private meetings with the MPs to discuss the alliance. "We hope to make an assembly with the English Conservatives. Links between us are very strong: we share the same moral motivation to create a better Europe. I think we will be an alliance."

An Alleanza Nazionale aide said: "It is an ongoing thing. There is nothing official but the reciprocal interest on the part of the Tories is very big. We are bound to silence until after the elections." Edward Macmillan- Scott, the Tory MEP leader, has said he believes the Conservatives will retain their association with the EPP. But the links to the pro-Euro group have embarrassed Mr Hague. Many figures in the party, as well as Eurosceptic MEP candidates, are pushing to sever links after the election.

A Central Office source said the Tories could not "seriously" continue their alliance with the EPP after campaigning so hard against federalism. "Decisions ... will have to be made within days of the election, if not on the day of the election," he said. "Most MEPs are pro-euro, but there's a hell of a lot of people in the party as a whole who want nothing to do with the EPP. At the end of the day it's up to William."

Cosy arrangement, page 6

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Media Sales - OTE up to £30,000

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Software Developer

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique & exciting opp...

Recruitment Genius: UX Consultant

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...

Recruitment Genius: Part-time Editor

£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935