Andy McSmith's Diary: Far right will not be silenced by EU coup

Labour MEP Claude Moraes is the first non-white chairman elected to steer one of the major committees in Brussels

Under the unfriendly eyes of two of Europe’s most notorious far-right politicians, Labour MEP Claude Moraes, who was born in Yemen, pulled off a coup on Monday by becoming the first non-white chairman elected to steer one of the major committees in Brussels, covering civil liberties, justice and home affairs. It is almost beyond parody that one of the committee members should be Udo Voight, the first creature of the German far-right to be elected an MEP.

Voight, the son of a former Wehrmacht officer, has praised Adolf Hitler as a “great German statesman”, denounced the current German republic as “illegitimate”, toyed with the idea of nominating Rudolf Hess, one-time deputy leader of the Nazi Party, for the Nobel peace prize, and has claimed that “no more than 340,000” Jews died in the Holocaust.

When the committee members gathered, Moraes was surprised to see that the leader of the French Front National, Marine le Pen, who is not a committee member but a substitute, had also taken time to attend. He wondered if she was there to prevent a non-white person from being elected to the chair. In fact, his election went through smoothly.

“I was slightly nervous,” he admitted. “It was quite a difficult moment. I said that as a committee we would be dealing with immigration, asylum and anti-discrimination… As a committee chairman, I have got to understand that these people from the far-right have been elected. If Voight asks to speak, he gets to speak.”

Short-Cummings irk Clegg

Dominic Cummings becomes a more sympathetic figure out of government. It would be difficult enough not to grow to like someone whom David Cameron publicly denounced as a “career psychopath.” Now Michael Gove’s former adviser has attracted a second accolade. The story is told in next week’s Radio Times that as Nick Clegg was being briefed ahead of one his LBC phone-ins, he was warned that he might be asked to respond to Cummings’s description of him as “a sphinx without a riddle”. The Deputy PM replied wearily: “Even I’m getting bored talking about this lunatic.” Psychopath, lunatic… it only remains for Ed Miliband to describe Cummings as “weird”.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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: Project and Quality Manager

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is an independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Executive - OTE £20,625

£14625 - £20625 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This role is for an enthusiasti...

Guru Careers: Financial Controller

£45 - £55k DOE: Guru Careers: A Financial Controller is required to join a suc...

Recruitment Genius: Fertility Nurse

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join the ho...

Day In a Page

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash