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Farage will quit Brussels for Westminster, EFD group hit by defections

Nigel Farage and UKIP MEPs at the Old Hack in Brussels. [James Crisp]

Nigel Farage and UKIP MEPs at the Old Hack in Brussels. [James Crisp]

Nigel Farage’s Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group was hit Tuesday night (10 June) by reports that Lithuania’s Order and Justice Party had followed Italy’s Lega Nord in defecting to Marine Le Pen’s alliance of far right parties, as the UKIP leader told EurActiv he would ditch his European Parliament seat if elected to Britain’s House of Commons next year.

Farage, the Chairman of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group, and other nationally elected senior UKIP MEPs would be replaced by the next candidates on the party’s lists without another vote, he said. The European Parliament’s rules of procedure forbid members from holding seats in their national parliament and the European assembly at the same time.

The loss of Farage in May 2015 would hurt the group, which is currently reeling from a wave of desertions. EFD members have either joined Le Pen’s group, or the UK Tory-led European Conservatives and Reformists.

The EFD is increasingly dependent on Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement for its political future. Five Star are expected to vote on EFD membership this week. UKIP sources were confident of making an announcement on Friday or Monday.

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This entry was posted on November 3, 2014 by in European elections 2014, Journalism, UK politics, UKIP and tagged , , , , , .

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