Campaigning MEP elected to lead Tories in Brussels

25-Nov-2014 @ 14:15

Ashley Fox Ashley Fox

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Ashley Fox is the new leader of Britain's 19 Conservative MEPs.

He was elected in a ballot of his colleagues today after former delegation leader Syed Kamall stood down to concentrate on his role as leader of the broader international grouping of European Conservatives and Reformists, which is now the third-biggest in the European Parliament.

A former solicitor, Mr Fox has been MEP for the South West and Gibraltar since 2009 and is Conservative industry spokesman in the parliament, as well as chief whip of the ECR Group.

He has taken the lead in the Conservative "Stop the Travelling Circus" campaign to scrap wasteful sittings of the parliament in Strasbourg and give it a single seat in Brussels.

A dedicated supporter of Gibraltar's British sovereignty, Mr Fox has applied constant pressure to both the EU Commission and the UK Foreign Office for a robust response to Spanish incursions into our waters and against deliberate tactics to by customs officials to hamper regular border crossings from The Rock.

He said:  "I feel truly honoured to have been chosen by my colleagues to lead them.  My priority will be to drive forward the Prime Minister's reform agenda, so that Britain can renegotiate its relationship with the EU. Then a Conservative government will put that new deal to the British people in a referendum.

"Europe has to change and its people are crying out for that change. I will work to form alliances across nationalities and across political divisions to ensure that reform is central to all we do.

"I will ensure that Conservative MEPs continue to bear down on EU waste and mis-spending and keep up pressure to cut the EU's cost to taxpayers. We will fight to slash the over-regulation that comes out of Brussels and hamstrings business – especially the small enterprises that should be the lifeblood of economic revival.

"Of course, I shall not forget my duty to promote the interests of the people of the South West and to defend Gibraltar and its people from Spanish aggression."

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