,the controversial and frequently disillusioned Conservative MEP for the EastMidlands, has announced he is stepping down from his seat at the EuropeanParliament effective 1st January 2012.
Mr Helmer (pictured far left in the photo) has certainly been no stranger to controversyduring his time in Brussels thanks to his “interesting” viewpoints, and personallyI thought he would more likely join the UKIP party than resign, but in astatement published on ConservativeHome this morning
announced his resignation.
Citing “disillusionment” with the policies of theConservative-led UK Coalition government, Mr Helmer said: “I am finding it evermore difficult to defend the policies of the Coalition, not only on my keyissues of Europe, and of climate and energy, but on a range of other mattersbesides […] I think that twelve-and-a-half years banging my head againstthe same brick wall in Brussels is perhaps long enough. And I shouldcertainly like to see more of my three fine grandsons.”
Responding to the news, Liberal Democrat MEP for the South West, SirGraham Watson
: “Libs must be doing a good job reigning in the Tories if dinosaurs like RogerHelmer MEP are resigning through disaffection to the coalition!
Meanwhile, Glennis Wilmott, a Labour MEP from the EastMidlands who contested the last elections with Mr Helmer, issued a statement saying
:“In some ways I think members on all sides of the European Parliament will missRoger Helmer
“Roger's time as a Conservative MEP has given us an insightinto the thinking in some of the darker corners of the Conservative Party,corners in which David Cameron would rather people didn't see. I am sure thatRoger will continue to campaign on his pet issues and that we will continue todisagree on almost everything, but I wish him the best of luck as he continuesto make a nuisance of himself with the government.”
Reactions from his fellow MEPs on Twitter were surprisingsubdued; but perhaps that is because they already know how equally “barking mad” his replacement Rupert Matthews is
(pictured in the centre of photo above.While they may not be as influential in the Parliament as they used to be, youhave to admit the Conservative MEPs and their ECR Group certainly make up forit in bizarreness.
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