MEP says petition to stop Brussels cash is ‘undemocratic and dangerous’
Nigel Farage’s UK Independence party has told its MEPs not to oppose a package that would fund some of Europe’s most extreme parties. The Alliance of European National Movements, a grouping of far-right MEPs, is looking to get £340,000 from the European commission, with a similar amount for a possible thinktank. The alliance includes Nick Griffin’s British National party, Hungary’s neo-fascist Jobbik party, Bulgaria’s far-right National Democratic party and the Front National in France.
A petition among MEPs that could halt the funding has attracted broad support, yet it has emerged that Ukip has instructed its MEPs not to support it. Godfrey Bloom, once ejected from the European parliament after directing a Nazi slogan at a German colleague, wrote to his fellow Ukip MEPs saying: “We consider that this proposal is both dangerous and undemocratic.”
Nick Lowles of anti-racism group Hope Not Hate said: “It’s bad enough that almost £400,000 of taxpayers’ money is going to line the election war chest of Nick Griffin and his extremist chums. But what really sticks in the throat is that Nigel Farage and his party are prepared to sit back and let this happen.
“Ukip claim to be standing up for the British taxpayer, but in reality they seem happier standing up for Europe’s peddlers of hate”.
Last September the European commission announced new rules for the funding of pan-European political parties to ensure that EU money was only given to parties that observe the values of the EU, “namely respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality”.
The award can be scrutinised if 189 MEPs from at least three political groupings sign a petition calling for the president of the parliament to evaluate whether parties adhere to EU principles of “liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law”. So far, 175 have signed. the petition, 14 short of the number needed.