Edward McMillan-Scott, the party's longest-serving MEP and former leader in Strasbourg, rebelled against David Cameron's Conservative and Reformist Group (ECR) and its new Right-wing East European allies.And he won.
He ran against the ECR choice of Michal Tomasz Kaminski, a member of Poland's Law and Justice Party (PiS), because he was unhappy with a lack of debate about his candidacy and the controversial new alliance.
So he has been expelled by The Dave’s acolytes…
Mr Kaminski is a close aide to Lech Kaczynski, Poland's Right-wing president. The Tory support for his candidacy was vital in securing the membership of PiS's 15 MEPs in the ECR. They constitute its second largest grouping.So, why is a supposed ‘moderate’ touchy-feely chap like Cameron cuddling up to hard-line right wingers?
Mr McMillan-Scott, 59, a Conservative MEP for 25 years, has not hidden his unease with the PiS, which has banned homosexual marches for being "sexually obscene". Last night he said he had "mixed emotions" about a victory for "real democracy" over party fixers. He said the ECR remained at the margins following Mr Kaminski's defeat. "David Cameron should be pleased that there is still a Tory at the top in Europe," he said.Well, yes. But he’s not.
Because it’s not his Tory. And he’s now exposed as every bit a control freak as Blair and Brown….
Mr McMillan-Scott has suggested that he has new evidence linking Polish MEPs in the ECR to extremism. "I intend to take up my concerns with the Conservative leadership and follow my research further," he said.The Dave will brook no dissent…
Earlier, Mr McMillan-Scott had refused to back down in the election and the whip was withdrawn as he prepared to hear the results of the parliament-wide vote.
A Tory spokesman said: "Mr McMillan-Scott had his whip suspended when he indicated he was putting in his nomination for vice-president of the European Parliament which was not in accordance with the decision of the delegation to support another person for that post.You think this is harming the reputation of the Conservative Party?
"He was offered the opportunity to withdraw his name to avoid harming the reputation of the Conservative Party. Despite discussions and attempts to achieve this end, he went ahead and confirmed his nomination."
The expulsion of Mr McMillan-Scott, the MEP for Yorkshire and Humber, is a major blow for the Tories. "This is bad news for a lot of us and there will be repercussions," said a colleague.Oh?
I can’t wait..
Another insider said: "Everyone knows that Edward was deeply unhappy that the Tories were leaving their traditional centre-Right allies and this was his way of showing it."Something to keep an eye on in the future.
Ross has a take on this too.