Buzuk appointed to top European post

THE new session of the European Parliament got underway in Strasbourg today, with the Conservatives sitting in their new voting bloc.For the first time in 30 years, the Tories are not aligned with other mainstream centre right politicians in the European People's Party, but as part of a new anti-federalist bloc of 55 MEPs dominated by the 26 UK.

Graham Dines

THE new session of the European Parliament got underway in Strasbourg today, with the Conservatives sitting in their new voting bloc.

For the first time in 30 years, the Tories are not aligned with other mainstream centre right politicians in the European People's Party, but as part of a new anti-federalist bloc of 55 MEPs dominated by the 26 UK.

British Labour MEPs, whose numbers dwindled to just 13 in the Euro-poll, remain part of the Socialist group, the second largest faction in the new parliament after the EPP.


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The 13 UK Independence Party members have forged a new 30-strong alliance, but the two British National Party MEPs, leader Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons, have failed so far to find sufficient far right allies from other parts of Europe prepared to join them.

That means the BNP duo lack the necessary political numbers to be part of an officially-recognised political grouping - a status which brings generous European Parliament cash and administrative support as well as places on influential committees and speaking time.

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The first decision of the new term has been to appoint former Polish prime minister Jerzy Buzuk as the parliament's new president.

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