Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Lord Patten lets EU cat out of bag

Tory heavyweight Chris Patten has let the cat out of the bag and admitted he'll be pushing for the post of Europe's first Foreign Minister.

Lord Patten's denial in the Financial Times that he was campaigning for the job rings hollow as he confesses to considering how he would combine his current role as Oxford University chancellor with a new job forging and promoting a common European foreign policy.

UKIP Leader Nigel Farage said the Conservative peer's eagerness to play a big European role was at odds Tory Party statements over Europe.

"Considering that Dave says he opposes the EU's Lisbon Treaty, then having one of your big players throwing his name in the ring for a plum job flies in the face of any anti-EU posturing," Mr Farage said.

"It raise suspicions that the Tories are not being straight with their supporters or British voters in general over their true intentions regarding the UK role in the EU.

"Lord Patten's comments offer a clearer insight into the thinking of the Tories over Europe. Only the UK Independence Party is committed to total withdrawal from the EU political union and that is what British voters want to hear.

"If Dave is trying to suggest that his party also believes this is the best for Europe, why not stop dilly-dallying and just come out and say so?"

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