Tory MEPs oppose disciplinary action against Hungary’s authoritarian regime
17 September 2018
Last week the European Parliament supported taking disciplinary action against the Hungarian government and its’ authoritarian leader Viktor Orban. This follows long-standing criticism of the government’s violations of core EU values – from supressing a free media, the rule of law, their anti-immigration rhetoric and attacks on minorities and religious groups. Whilst Labour MEPs proudly supported the disciplinary motion, Tory MEPs voted against and sided with Orban and his far-right regime.
Whilst it is abhorrent that Tory MEPs chose to side with Orban, it is perhaps unsurprising in this Brexit era. Orban has recently called for the EU to give Britain a good Brexit deal and he was in fact one of the first visitors Theresa May invited to No.10 after becoming Prime Minister. Are the Tories appealing for support and friendship with Europe’s far-right in these Brexit times?
It does appear the Tories are willing to overlook Viktor Orban’s far-right rhetoric on immigration and his government’s track record of abuse of civil rights and the rule of law. The European Parliament also had concerns about Hungary’s judicial independence, its’ respect for freedom of expression, corruption, rights of minorities and the situation of migrants and refugees. The move by Tory MEPs to side with Orban is a worrying sign about the current state of the Tory party – indeed Tory MEPs have been criticised by the Muslim Council of Britain and the Board of Deputies of British Jews over this stance.
Labour MEPs have rightly condemned this move by the Tories in the European Parliament and you can read more from Richard Corbett MEP – the Leader of Labour MEPs – here. You can also read more about the motion on the European Parliament website here.