A Reaganite, Thatcherite Conservative leader

July 15, 2009 14:20

There's an excellent post at Conservative Home by Dan Hannan, on the election of Michał Kamiński as leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR):

When Michal made his first speech as an MEP, he hymned the praises
of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, to the unfeigned horror of the
EPP. He is, in short, the closest thing to a British Tory outside the
Carlton Club.

In a sense, Michal’s election was accidental. It had
originally been planned that he would take a parliamentary
Vice-Presidency while a Briton became the first leader of the European
Conservatives and Reformists (ECR). But my erstwhile colleague Edward
Macmillan-Scott decided to have a go at the Vice-Presidency himself,
which upset all the calculations (Edward lost the Conservative Whip in

This left Michal in an embarrassing situation. He
is well known in Poland as a long-standing advocate of the new
conservative Group. Yet he had been denied office by a renegade British

At this stage, the two British candidates for the
leadership, Timothy Kirkhope and Geoffrey Van Orden, displayed
extraordinary magnanimity, withdrawing their candidacies in Michal’s

I know that Timothy, in particular, has come in for some
criticism from ConHome readers, a lot of it very unfair. His behaviour
over this episode made the rest of us proud to be British Tories. It
was hardly his fault that Edward Macmillan-Scott had decided to run.
But an injury had been done to our Polish friends by a British
Conservative, and he took it upon himself to make restitution by ceding
the Group leadership. He put the interests of Conservatism above his
own ambitions.


July 15, 2009 14:20

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