So Saj Karim (MEP NW England) has buggered off and joined the Tories in a major cream puff. Oh dearie, dearie me my morale has shot through the floor - not!
I can't remember if I've actually met the guy during one of my various trips out to Brussels (speaks volumes for him in it's own right), but the general word on the street amongst those with ears to the ground in Brussels is that he wasn't in the first division amongst LDEPP.
A few comments from Saj:
On Human Rights: "This is just another example of how the Labour and Conservative parties are completely aligned on stripping away our human and civil rights..."
On Conservative Homophobia: With their failure to support a resolution condemning discriminatory remarks by political and religious leaders targeting homosexuals, the Tories have shown their true colours." "Their apathy in the face of rising homophobia should come as no surprise. The Conservative camp is today rife with contradiction. Cameron attempts to paint a glossy image of a gay-friendly party in the UK while desperately trying to get into bed at European level with Poland's homophobic 'Law and Justice' party."
On Kashmir: "I can honestly say that that whilst the British Conservative and Labour delegations were trying to make political capital out of the human rights situation of the Kashmiri people, the Liberal Democrats and Greens were the only MEPs to vote on the substance of the amendments, regardless of who their authors were."
On Animal Welfare: "...it is an issue that the Liberal Democrats in Europe take very seriously. The fact that the Tories have adopted such an untenable position on animal welfare indicates how out of touch they are with the European consumer. Astonishingly, the Tories were against the mandatory labelling of products to ensure the traceability and quality of food and related products"
On Education: "There are very clear differences between what the Liberal Democrats say and what the Conservatives and Labour are saying. For a start we say very very clearly that there ought to be a standard of education that is available right across the board. We don't accept that specialist schools of the sort that are being proposed by both Labour and Conservatives are the way forward. That's the first distinction that we make." "What the Labour Party have done since they have come into power is carry forward the Conservative policies so far as bringing forward league tables, creating greater discrepancy in the provinces of the standard of education that is being provided. This is not acceptable..."
I wonder if his departure is in any way related to the fact that he came a poor second to Chris Davies MEP in the recent Euro selection contest for NW England, or am I being cynical?