Ukip criticised after six MEPs vote 'No' on a resolution to tackle world ivory trade

Only 14 out Europe's 671 MEPs vote against resolution

Jack Simpson
Thursday 24 April 2014 02:10 BST
Seized ivory tusks are displayed in Hong Kong
Seized ivory tusks are displayed in Hong Kong (Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

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Six Ukip MEPS, including leader Nigel Farage, have come under heavy criticism after it emerged they had voted ‘No’ to a resolution that would help prevent the illegal trade of ivory in Europe.

The vote that took place in January, saw only 14 of Europe’s 671 MEPs vote ‘no’ to a motion that, according to the creators of the resolution, would “send a clear signal against worldwide wildlife trafficking.”

Of these 14, six were from UKIP.

The resolution also aimed at moving towards creating a moratorium to outlaw the commercial import and export of ivory and other wildlife products in Europe.

During the vote, none of the UKIP MEPs present were in favour of the resolution, which would also see all stockpiles of ivory in Europe destroyed.

These MEPS included Farage, himself, as well as Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall and UKIP, founder member Gerrard Batten, John Stuart, William Dartmouth and Derek Roland.

The ‘No’ vote follows a trend by UKIP to go against any vote that could potentially expand European legislative power.

The decision by UKIP MEPs has been followed by a wave of criticism.

Historian and columnist Tim Stanley wrote in The Telegraph on Wednesday: "(I) expect Ukip to explain that they always vote against anything that expands EU power.

"As a passionate anti-EU conservative, I appreciate that stance. But when it comes to taking action against something as squalid as the ivory trade, even this rabid patriot would compromise my anti-EU principles. What next? Refusing to uphold a ban on child labour?"

Keith Taylor, Green Party told The Huffington Post, that he was sure the vote by UKIP would lead to many of the people that were going to vote for the party were now reconsidering.

There was also a reaction on social media.

Green Party member Derek Wall posted a picture of the six MEPs, writing underneath, “Why do #UKIP hate elephants? Is it because they are foreign animals competing for British mammals jobs?”

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