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Ex-Conservative MEP, Edward McMillan-Scott joins ALDE group

Date

17 May 2010

Edward McMillan-Scott MEP (UK, Lib Dem) will be formally joining the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) group in the European Parliament today. He will continue to sit in the parliament’s Bureau, as an independent Vice-President.

Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE group leader welcomed the new Member to the group:

"Edward McMillan Scott is a principled pro-European. He has a great deal of parliamentary experience and a strong record of defending human rights across the globe. The Conservative's loss is our gain."

McMillan-Scott made a stand against the Conservatives’ controversial new ECR group last July, winning re-election with cross-party backing as an independent Vice-President candidate. For this, he was expelled by his party, appealed, but on March 12th he joined the UK Liberal Democrats.

In a statement today, says:

“Britain has become a more European nation with the advent of national coalition politics, fixed-term parliaments and the real prospect of a fairer electoral system. The creation of the Conservative/LibDem coalition was the best day of my political life since my first election. I was a liberal Conservative and am now a conservative Liberal. This government represents the best of both traditions and will be moderate on Europe.

“Europe is in a crisis and needs political leadership based on fairness. The Lisbon Treaty gives the European Parliament the opportunity at last to act decisively in most policy areas and to shape others. The liberal group, ALDE, is on the winning side in 90 per cent of the votes: it is having a pivotal, principled influence on the way the EU develops. The liberal family has ministers in 14 EU governments and eight EU Commissioners in Brussels.

“Before Easter, I met the leader of ALDE Guy Verhofstadt and agreed to join the liberal group in the European Parliament after the British general election. I have always worked closely with liberals on my priorities, democracy and human rights worldwide and I share their strategic priorities for the EU during this mandate."

For more information, please contact:

Neil Corlett: +33-3-88 17 41 67 or +32-478-78 22 84

e-mail: neil.corlett@europarl.europa.eu

Euan Roddin: +33-3-88 17 24 31 or +32-475-59 13 74

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