Tories challenged over block on MEPs
Donald Macintyre writes political sketches for The Independent, having been Jerusalem correspondent since 2004, covering Israel and the Occupied Territories, as well as travelling for the paper to Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Libya and Egypt. As Political Editor and then Chief Political Commentator, he previously covered the John Major and early Tony Blair era. He has written for the Daily Express, Sunday Times, Times and Sunday Telegraph, and Sunday Correspondent. He is the author of Mandelson and the Making of New Labour (2000).
Wednesday 13 October 1993
Jack Cunningham, Labour's foreign affairs spokesman, sought to exploit Tory divisions in the wake of a weekend hint by Michael Portillo, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, that MEPs risked being deselected unless they stuck to a firm line of opposition to European integration.
His move came after Labour MEPS published a list of 24 Conservative MEPS who had voted in favour of an amendment seeking the 'transformation of the Community into a genuine union of federal type'. The total number of Tory MEPS is 32.
In a letter to Sir Norman Fowler, the Conservative Party chairman, Mr Cunningham asked who would decide on whether a sitting MEP or new candidate was acceptable.
Senior Conservative sources said last night that the motion referred to had been passed in July 1990 by an overwhelming majority of MEPs, with the significant exception of the extreme right-wing grouping led by Jean- Marie Le Pen, and referred to the existing structure. The Tory view in the European Parliament is that the real divide in the Parliament is not about federalism but over whether in future the Community should go in a more centralised direction, as they claim the socialists want.
Emergency landing at Heathrow sparks further controversy over London airport capacity
Unrest may spread across Europe, warns Red Cross chief
French government seeks to ban extreme right-wing group
Hate attacks on Muslims increase tenfold since murder of Woolwich soldier
You want to get an Eton scholarship? All you need to do is answer four (not so simple) questions
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.