Former Tory MEP and arch-Remainer Edward McMillan-Scott, now standing as a LibDem candidate in West Worcestershire, has sent this letter to voters across the country explaining how he came to swap parties. He writes:
“I first joined the Conservative Party in 1967. I held many different positions within the party – including group leader in the European Parliament. I played a leading role in shaping several election manifestos. But I protested when David Cameron split from Europe’s mainstream political group, and I joined the Liberal Democrats.”
Well, sort of.
McMillan-Scott was indeed group leader in the European Parliament and did indeed protest when Cameron took Tory MEPs out of the EPP in 2009. But he neglects to mention the consequence of that protest: he had the whip withdrawn and was subsequently expelled from the Conservative Party. He begged to be let back in, launching an appeal and canvassing constituents for support, before lining up lawyers for a hearing. He was advised that he had no chance of winning. Only then did he turn to the LibDems. He’d still be a Tory if they’d have had him…