Richard Ashworth, the former leader of the UK Conservative delegation in the European Parliament, was expelled from the Conservative party this week in a shock move by the party Chairman, Brandon Lewis.
Speaking from Strasbourg, Ashworth said: “In October 2017, I, along with Julie Girling, voted in support of a European Parliament resolution that said, “Not enough progress has been made, by the EU and the UK, in resolving the question of the Irish border after Brexit”. Only five Conservative MEPs took part in the vote, which was not a political statement but a factual one.”
In light of that vote, Prime Minister Theresa May announced at the following PMQs “I have suspended the party whip from two Conservative MEPs”.
Subsequently, Both MEPs in defiance of the British Conservative delegation, voted to censure the far right Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban. Consequently, Party Chairman, Brandon Lewis, announced this week that Ashworth and Girling had been expelled from the Conservative party.
Ashworth added: “Having been a party worker for over 30 years and, having been former group leader and party board member, I find this extremely disappointing. I always have been, and always will be, a Conservative. However, I am surprised that the party does not apply the same standards in Westminster and I am extremely concerned that this once broad-church pragmatic Conservative party has deserted the centre ground in favour of far right ideology and intolerance”.