Beazley in anti-Cameron protest

A CONSERVATIVE Euro MP for the East of England has resigned the party whip in Brussels after accusing David Cameron of “walking away” from the party's commitment to Europe.

Graham Dines

A CONSERVATIVE Euro MP has for the East of England has issued a scathing attack on Tory leader David Cameron, accusing him of “walking away” from the party's commitment to Europe.

Christopher Beazley, who is not seeking re-election in June after assuming he would not be reselected by the predominantly Eurosceptic regional party members, said he knew he would be “ripped to pieces” by the anti-Europeans in the party and Fleet Street.Mr Cameron has announced that Tory MEPs elected in June will not longer sit with the centre-right European People's Party grouping in the Parliament, but will form a new alliance with right wing parties from the former Soviet bloc countries.

At one point, Mr Beazley considered leaving the Tory group. “I am not resigning the whip but I will become a full member of the EPP grouping in the Parliament in my own right, rather than being an associate member which is the position now for Tory MEPs said Mr Beazley. “This is the only policy with which I disagree with Mr Cameron.

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“However, I cannot watch and say nothing while the Tories walk away from their allies, friends and colleagues in Europe.

“There is a Conservative pro-European argument and it has to be discussed, not smothered by anti-European hysteria in the party.

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“I am terribly sad but I cannot watch my country head for the rocks, which it will do if Cameron becomes Prime Minister and has no allies in the major governments of the European Union.”

Mr Beazley was elected MEP for the Eastern region in 1999 having previously been a Euro MP for the Cornwall and Plymouth constituency from 1984 to 1994.

Until today, he was Conservative spokesman on culture and education. He was vice-chairman of the European Parliament's delegation to the Baltic States from 1991-94, and chairman of the delegation to Estonia from 2001-2004.

Born in 1952, he is married with three children and lists his main interests as languages, travel and writing.

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