Not much on the local blogs I read about this one…
Ashley Mote was elected as one of the two UKIP MEPs for the South East in 2004. Within weeks, UKIP removed the whip from him (as in, expelled him from their group) because of an undisclosed bit of legal bother over benefit fraud allegations. Despite in the past having claimed that MEPs should not have immunity from prosecution, he has managed to get the case delayed because he says he has immunity (there’s nothing like applying your principles to politics, and that’s nothing like it).
Last week, following the entry of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU, the European Parliament was extended to include representatives from the new countries. As a result, two more far right parties arrived, the charmingly named ‘National Union Attack’ from Bulgaria and the ‘Greater Romania Party’.
This meant that there were enough MEPs from enough countries to form a proper pan-EU group – Identity,_Tradition_and_Sovereignty. A run through of the member parties gives us the Austrian Freedom Party, the Italian Social Alternative (led by Mussolini’s granddaughter Alessandra) and Tricolour Flame (who are most closely associated with the 1943-45 fascist republic in the North), the Belgian Vlaams Belang (successors to the Vlaams Blok which dissolved after being done for contravening hate and discrimination laws), and the largest of these parties, the French National Front.
Clearly, if the BNP had any MEPs, this would be their natural home. But they don’t. What we do have is Ashley Mote, who UKIP can’t get rid of (although if he resigns his seat or dies, they nominate his successor from their election list).
Now, in Crawley we are aware of the fact that several prominent local UKIP members moved across to the BNP. Although Mote has not actually done that, he has linked himself with polticians who have in the past denied the holocaust, sought discrimination against immigrants and gypsies, glorified the fascist regimes of the last century and have been accused of war crimes (eg Le Pen in Algeria).
Does anyone else in the South East feel sullied by our MEP?