McMillan Scott (far right) has been "sent to Coventry" after highlighting the Tories extremist links. Photo thanks to EP photostream!
I have stumbled across a leaked email from McMillan Scott,former Tory MEP, that highlights what many have feared about the Tories new ECR grouping for a long time. At the inaugural meeting of the Tories new grouping, the ECR, McMillan Scott expressed concerns about some of the “extremists” that the Tories are now sitting with in the European Parliament. This cumulated with him standing for Vice-President of the Parliament against the ECR candidate Michał Kamiński a Polish MEP from the Law and Justice Party. McMillan Scott now sits as a non-aligned in the Parliament.
For me, this email confirms what I already knew. The Tories are sitting with some nasty characters in the European Parliament putting them in “awkward positions” around LGBT rights and the death penalty to name just two!
Here, I copy in the entirety of the email I received:
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT VICE-PRESIDENT
Yorkshire & Humber, UK
MY EXPULSION FROM THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY
> 8 February 2010
> Dear Westminster parliamentary colleague,
> I am writing to many Conservative MPs (and I am sorry this is not personalised) about the Party’s treatment of a parliamentarian. Despite my restraint with the media, there is a risk of it becoming an issue in the General Election. The reputational damage to the Party is already considerable: Keira Knightley’s contemporary West End opens with a speech about David Cameron’s ‘grubby fascist friend’
> Whatever view you take about David Cameron’s pledge to leave the EPP it has been panned by every commentator, and the choice of EU allies has been controversial. Putting the Polish MEP Michal Kaminski up for Vice-President was a disastrous choice and would have led to a furore, whether or not I stood against him. Expelling me from the Party until after the next European Election has been a CCHQ own goal and it is time it was corrected – by politicians.
David Cameron may well be unaware of what has been taking place but my numerous attempts to achieve an amicable solution are being systematically blocked by CCHQ.
I now urge the parliamentary party to appoint an experienced MP – perhaps a member of the 1922 Executive – to conduct an inquiry and resolve this quickly.
The whip was withdrawn from me by Timothy Kirkhope to divert attention from political misjudgements.
However my expulsion from the Party is of another order and must not be allowed to stand.
You can take me out of the Conservative Party, but you cannot take the Conservative out of me. Please let me know if you wish to help or want more information. My private email is xx@xxx and my mobile number is xxxxxxxxxxx. The Party is more important than any individual, but principles trump the Party and I will not let matters rest.
10 Killer Points: Edward McMillan-Scott MEP��s expulsion from the Conservative Party
- I complied with the manifesto, leaving the EPP and joining the new ECR group. I said that I was ‘uncomfortable’ because of moral, constitutional and extremist issues. I stood against a Polish MEP, Michal Kaminski, and was re-elected Vice-President of the European Parliament with strong cross-party support and NGO support (see http://www.edwardforvp.eu/) on 14 July – see attached Timeline. This was done on a point of principle because Kaminski had recent and easily-discovered ‘anti-Semitic, homophobic and racist links’ – for some details see attached Kaminski Uncovered
2. Kaminski and his party represent the rise of disguised extremism in Europe. My longstanding concern and action about extremism stems from a family secret since 1940, revealed on BBC Radio 4’s Mother was a Blackshirt only in January by my aunt, Diana Bailey, that my maternal grandparents were interned by Churchill as senior Blackshirts (please ask for a transcript)
3. Kaminski was not an official Conservative candidate. He was nominated by Timothy Kirkhope, Tory MEP leader, as part of a stitch-up to promote Kirkhope as leader of the new group without election. The Tory MEPs’ rules of procedure for nominations for EP parliamentary posts were ignored. I stood as an independent. Another Conservative stood independently the next day for another parliamentary post (‘Quaestor’ = Ways & Means) but no action was taken. Only I lost the whip.
4. My Brussels assistants and I were ‘sent to Coventry’ (this was ignored by Tory MEPs and staff); my UK staff were told to stop working for me by Party officials (they refused); all material carrying my name was to be expunged from constituency offices, invitations to Party functions withdrawn; my conference pass was revoked, a fringe meeting cancelled, among other petty actions. Throughout all this, CCHQ has flagrantly ignored the Party’s constitution, its principles – and its reputation
5. A smear campaign was launched against me, starting with a specious letter which William Hague sent to key Conservatives in my constituency and also issued to the media although he knew that, for legal reasons, I could not reply. Six Conservative Press Officers vilified me to constituency media and the nationals while defending Kaminski. This perverse CCHQ strategy has created an issue on which, I am told, Gordon Brown has achieved electoral ‘cut-through’ on our weakest topic – Europe
6. On September 15, without notice or reason, I was expelled from the Party after an email exchange between Board members. They did not meet. This decision is subject to a prolonged internal CCHQ appeal procedure in which my lawyers and I have little faith (I was on the Board for three years) and, as a result, may lead to court action.
7. My UK lawyers, the best in their field, say that my expulsion was against natural justice, disproportionate and unconstitutional: they look forward to the High Court
8. The ‘blind pledge’ (signed by all Tory Euro-candidates that they would join whatever EU grouping Cameron devised) is illegal under EU law and my treatment by the Party is contrary to the EU’s ‘Race Directive’ (and the Race Relations Act)
9. The Party appears to seek to terminate my parliamentary career (I am 60) – as well as my livelihood – despite 25 years as an MEP, 4 years as leader of the MEPs, 3 years on the Board and 43 years as a Party member. I have a reputation for tenacity
10. The only other parliamentarians to have been expelled from the Party were Den Dover for two years, after allegedly misusing his MEP expenses; and Lord Archer for five years, after imprisonment for perjury in the High Court. Who is CCHQ kidding? http://www.emcmillanscott.com/ .
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If you’ve got it, don’t flaunt it: Another asylum seeker told to go home and be discreet
This article was written by Carrie Lyell for the wonderful Lesbilicious magazine. Re-posted here on request.
Another day, another headline about a failed asylum bid. This time, it’s Angeline Pirara Mwafulirwa and her three children who are currently in a family detention centre in Scotland and will be forcibly removed from the UK this weekend.
Angeline Pirara Mwafulirwa and her children were forcibly removed from their home in Glasgow
Angeline is claiming asylum on the grounds of her sexuality, like many other lesbian and bisexual women who flee their homes in hope of refuge in the UK from a myriad of discrimination and danger they may encounter at home. And yet our government send them home, time and time again, with the message: Be Discreet.
Be discreet? Seriously? I don’t know about you, but my sexuality is much more than just the sex of the person I am attracted to. It influences everything I do. My politics, the television I watch, the newspapers I read, even the shoes on my feet. Discretion does not mean do not hold your girlfriend’s hand in public, it means do not be yourself.
I remember those few years between realising I was gay and telling my family and friends as incredibly isolating and lonely. I was slamming doors and crying myself to sleep, and no one knew why. I was in love with my best friend and I was confused. I couldn’t quite admit it to myself, let alone anyone else. I can’t even comprehend a situation where I wouldn’t be allowed to tell anyone else, for fear of imprisonment, violence or even death. An all too familiar situation for lesbian and bisexual women like Angeline who have been refused asylum in this country and others like it.
Lord Hope said in a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that: “to compel a homosexual person to pretend that his sexuality does not exist or suppress his behavior by which to manifest himself is to deny his fundamental right to be who he is” and still, we don’t talk about protecting the rights of asylum seekers. We don’t talk about immigration at all, as if it’s a dirty word, infecting our mouths with some kind of liberal disease. The mainstream political parties cower to the will of public opinion, refusing to speak positively about immigration issues incase it loses them votes. Incase it alienates their core support. Well you know what? If your core support refuse a safe haven for a woman and her children who are danger because she is attracted to other women, then that’s a core support I don’t want.
Oh yes, that’s right. They come over here, they steal our women, our jobs and our flat screen televisions. I forgot. Instead of talking about the danger that these ‘criminals’ pose to us, why don’t we talk about the danger that these people are fleeing from? With the summer and Pride season almost upon us, whilst you’re dusting off your rainbow flags or planning your Civil Partnership, the sobering reality is this: homosexuality remains illegal in over 80 countries worldwide and is punishable by death in countries like Sudan, Mauritania and Saudi Arabia. Not to mention all the places where the law might have changed, but social attitudes haven’t. Discrimination goes well beyond prosecution. We’re talking humiliation, violence and inequality not only by state officials, but in communities. In families. So many people who have no one to stand up for them or laws to protect them. We don’t know how lucky we are.
The Home Secretary promised two years ago to stop the removal of people whose sexual orientation or gender identity put them at ‘proven’ risk of imprisonment, torture or execution. There have been several high profile cases that have highlighted the problems that people like Angeline face in Malawi, including imprisonment, police violence and exclusion from housing and health services. Angeline fears her children will be taken away by her ex-husband and says she’s scared they are in danger of female genital mutilation at the hands of his family. That’s clearly not enough proof for Teresa May and the Home Office.
Of course, there will be people like May who don’t believe Angeline’s story. A comment under one article said: “’LGBT” – she’s having a laugh – three kids and she’s now claiming LGBT (lol)’” and others who think that she and Waverley Care—an HIV charity that she volunteers for—are lying in a bid to defame Malawi.
For me, it’s not about whether or not Angeline is telling the truth. What is far more important, in my eyes, is our unwillingness to help. All she wants is a safe place to raise her children and the freedom to be who she is without fear of persecution. I feel so lucky to live in a place where my rights are protected, where I can have my relationship recognised by law, where I could serve in the army and adopt a child, if I wanted to. And I want those things for Angeline and her family, and all of those women who are in the same situation but aren’t fortunate enough to have their stories believed. Of the 19,804 applications made for asylum in 2011, more than half were refused. I don’t think even the most hardened cynic could believe they were all lying.
I’ve no doubt that Malawi and countries like it will soon realise that, as Hilary Clinton put it, gay rights are human rights, but until then, we have a responsibility to take care of people like Angeline and her family. It’s not long now until London plays host to World Pride 2012, an event that aims to draw attention to countries where being gay is still illegal and give those who can’t march safely at home an opportunity to do that on our streets. Let’s hope that sentiment lasts a little longer than the British Summer.
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Filed under Human rights, Politics, sexuality, Social comment, War
Tagged as 2010 supreme court ruling on asylum rights, LGBT, LGBT asylum, LGBT rights