Tories promise European transparency

THE Conservatives launched their European election campaign in the East of England with the promise that the party's MEPs will publish on their web site “comprehensive details” of the expenses and allowances they claim.

Graham Dines

THE Conservatives launched their European election campaign in the East of England with the promise that the party's MEPs will publish on their web site “comprehensive details” of the expenses and allowances they claim.

Geoffrey Van Orden, the Tories' lead candidate in the region, said: “Our 'Right to Know' regime has been in existence since September last year and will be reinforced by a further pledge on transparency and ethics as well as on our political commitments. We challenge the other parties to follow our lead.”

Mr Van Orden, who was first elected in 1999, said: “David Cameron has shown the strongest resolve in implementing a rigorous response to the present expenses crisis that has afflicted Westminster.


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“However, the crisis distracts from the very real problems affecting our country, and the relationship with Brussels. Our people want more control over their own lives and over those taking decisions on their behalf.

“Yet we have a Government that is prepared to sign away more power to remote bureaucrats in Brussels through the Treaty of Lisbon - the 'European Constitution'. Conservatives have led the campaign to get the Government to keep its promise and hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

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“Conservatives will give the British people a referendum and will bring powers back from Brussels, starting with social and employment policy.”

Mr Van Orden said: “The European elections on June 4 are about keeping faith with the British people, about integrity in government, and about change in Europe. Conservatives want to change the direction of the EU - away from its obsession with political integration and towards restoring economic prosperity, growth and jobs.

“At the same time we want to get the best from the EU for the people of the East of England. That means making a reality of the single market for the benefit of our businesses and ensuring that the weight of the EU helps our global trading position.”

The Tory campaign was launched in Newmarket, supported by the party's culture spokesman Jeremy Hunt. The Conservative Euro candidates in addition to Mr Van Orden are Robert Sturdy, Vicky Ford, John Flack, Jonathan Morgan, Claire Strong and Clare Whelan.

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