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Ian Hudghton
Scottish National Party
Member of the European Parliament

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20 August
SNP/Plaid MEPs slam Tory/Labour stitch-up

SNP and Plaid Cymru Euro-MPs have condemned today's Tory/Labour stitch up to secure the Presidency of the European Parliament as 'grubby and thoroughly unprincipled'. Euro-MPs meeting in Strasbourg elected Spanish Socialist Josep Borrell as the new President of the 732 member parliament following a deal between the Socialist and Conservative groups of MEPs.

SNP European Leader, Ian Hudghton MEP commented:

"Today's stitch up - which involved UK Tory and Labour MEPs - is a grubby and thoroughly unprincipled attempt to secure positions of influence behind closed doors rather than through proper, open democratic debate. This kind of deal gives the impression of an institution where decisions are made by a small cabal in smoke filled rooms, with democracy sacrificed by those who crave power and influence.

I am appalled, though not surprised, that Labour and the Tories clubbed together in this shady deal - it demonstrates that they clearly have no qualms in working together to secure the election of their chosen candidates to senior posts. It's a shameful way to do business that brings this institution into disrepute and I condemn their behaviour unreservedly."

Plaid Cymru Deputy Leader Jill Evans MEP added:

"Today's behaviour by Labour and the Tories in stitching up this senior European post is nothing short of a disgrace. I condemn their hypocrisy on the matter. How many times have we heard both parties stressing the importance of openness and transparency?

Their actions today prove once and for all that their first loyalty is to serving their own interests - those Labour and Tory MEPs who joined together in this outrageous stitch up should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves."

Note: The deal between the two groups apparently involves an understanding that having backed a socialist candidate for the first half of this parliamentary term, a candidate from the Conservative group will be favoured for the presidency in the latter half of the term.

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