, a British Vice-President of the European Parliament and former leader of the Conservatives in the chamber before being expelled from the party last year, officially joined the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
) group today.
He will continue to sit in the parliament’s Bureau, as an independent
Mr McMillan-Scott was expelled and had the party whip removed from him last July after he broke party orders and stood for re-election as vice- president
against Michał Kamiński, the Polish MEP and leader of the new alliance of which the UK Conservatives are a part of because of what he called his "anti-Semitic, homophobic and racist links
Mr McMillan-Scott made a stand against the Conservatives’ controversial new ECR
group last July and was welcomed today by the ALDE group’s leader, Guy Verhofstadt
: "Edward McMillan Scott is a principled pro-European. He has a great deal of parliamentary experience and a strong record of defending human rights across the globe. The Conservative's loss is our gain.
In a statement today, Mr McMillan-Scott expressed his delight at the move and praised the UK’s new coalition government commenting that “Britain has become a more European nation with the advent of national coalition politics, fixed-term parliaments and the real prospect of a fairer electoral system.
“The creation of the Conservative/LibDem coalition was the best day of my political life since my first election,
” he said. “I was a liberal Conservative and am now a conservative Liberal. This government represents the best of both traditions and will be moderate on Europe.
“The liberal group, ALDE, is on the winning side in 90 per cent of the votes: it is having a pivotal, principled influence on the way the EU develops. The liberal family has ministers in 10 EU governments and eight EU Commissioners in Brussels.