Van Orden takes the Tory helm in Europe

03-Jul-2019 @ 12:00

Geoffrey Van Orden Geoffrey Van Orden

Amjad Bashir Amjad Bashir

Amjad Bashir Amjad Bashir

Van Orden takes the Tory helm in Europe

Geoffrey Van Orden is the new leader of Britain's Conservative MEPs.


The former senior British Army officer and longstanding MEP for the East of England has been a consistent campaigner against ever-closer European integration - and particularly plans for an EU defence capability which he insists would undermine NATO.


Mr Van Orden was elected leader by his fellow Conservative MEPs and said: "I am proud to have been chosen to head the delegation. There is hard work ahead as we redouble our efforts to help our Government deliver the Brexit people voted for."


"We are fewer in number, so that will mean individual MEPs shouldering more responsibility to ensure Britain's voice is heard here in Strasbourg and Brussels."


"We hope and expect to be leaving sooner rather than later - but so long as the United Kingdom does remain in the EU it important for us to roll our sleeves up and protect the country's interests."


Mr Van Orden was elected as a Conservative MEP in 1999 and was instrumental in the creation of the European Conservatives and Reformists political group in the Parliament - the ECR - to which all Conservative MEPs belong.

He was founding President of its associated think-tank, New Direction –The Foundation for European Reform.

In his military career he gained wide international and operational experience, particularly in the field of counter-terrorism. His last military appointment was at NATO Headquarters. He will remain the party's defence and security spokesman in the parliament and will also lead on industry, research and energy.


Other Conservative portfolios and responsibilities were also announced.


Anthea McIntyre, MEP for the West Midlands, will remain agriculture spokesman and will also sit on the Environment Committee.


Daniel Hannan, MEP for the South East, will be a vice president of the ECR Group and sit on the Constitutional Affairs Committee as Conservative spokesman.


Baroness Nosheena Mobarick, MEP for Scotland, will remain fisheries spokesman and will also lead on culture and education.


Mr Van Orden said: "We have a great team with a wealth of experience and expertise and we are ready to stand up for Britain for as long as we have to."

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