Following on from the attempt by UKIP MEP Nigel Farage to bring Barroso to the EU parliament to explain himself on the Latsis affair, by 6.30 pm today he had obtained 74 signatures, from MEPs in most political groups and nations, and delivered them to the secretary general of parliament Julian Priestly, calling for a motion of censure for the commission president.
Under the rules of the parliament, there must now be a debate which, we understand, will be held during the mini-plenary in Brussels on 25 May, four days before the French referendum. Although he is not obliged to attend, it is understood that Barroso will be present to defend himself, his chief spokeswoman conceding that he might otherwise lose the motion.
The press office for the Independence/Democracy Group readily acknowledges that the motion was based entirely on the details unearthed by this Blog (here and here) which means that the Blog can rightly consider that it has played a key role in bringing the president to book.
Says Nigel Farage in the group press release, "He only has himself to blame. If he and the commission had not repeatedly refused to answer a simple parliamentary question then none of this need to have happened." He adds: "Absolute refusal to answer a legitimate question was followed by denial. Now we will have the opportunity to force the commission to come clean about its conflicts of interest".
For the record, among the MEPs who signed the motion are five Conservatives, Dan Hannan, Christopher Heaton-Harris, Roger Helmer, Martin Callanan and David Sumberg who did so in defiance of Party instructions. Other signatories included Paul Van Buitenen, Ashley Mote and the French MEP Philippe de Villiers, plus the full UKIP team and, surprisingly (in my view), Caroline Lucas, the Green MEP.
Congratulations to them all.
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By popular demand - the complete list of MEPs:
Nigel FARAGE, Filip ADWENT, James ALLISTER, Peter BACO, Gerard BATTEN, Bas BELDER, Hans BLOKLAND, Godfrey BLOOM, Jens Peter BONDE, Graham BOOTH, Mario BORGHEZIO, Martin CALLANAN, Sylvester CHRUSZCZ, Derek CLARK, Paul-Marie COUTEAUX, Richard CZARNECKI, Marek CZARNECKI, Jill EVANS, Barirbre DE BRUN, Elly de GROEN, Maciej GIERTYCH, Hélène GOUDIN, Dariusz GRABOWSKI, Dan HANNAN, Christopher HEATON-HARRIS, Anna HEDH, Roger HELMER, Giorgios KARATZAFERIS, Roger KNAPMAN, Sergej KOZLIK, Ole KRARUP, Urszula KRUPA, Zbigniew KUZMIUK, Kartika LIOTARD, Patrick LOUIS, Caroline LUCAS, Nils LUNDGREN, Helmuth MARKOV, Hans Peter MARTIN, Jan MASIEL, Mary Mc DONALD, Ashley MOTE, Mike NATRASS, Bogdan PEK, Tobias PFLÜGER, Miroslaw PIOTROWSKI, Zdzislaw PODKANSKI, Miguel PORTAS, Miloslav RANSDORF, Karin RESETARTIS, Boguslaw ROGALSKI, Leopold RUTOWICZ, Matteo SALVINI, Carl SCHLYTER, Esko SEPPAANEN, Czeslaw SIEKIERSKI, Kathy SINNOTT, Jonas SJOSTEDT, Francesco SPERONI, Bart STAES, David SUMBERG, Eva SVENSSON, Jeffrey TITFORD, Witold TOMCZAK, Paul Van BUITENEN, Philippe de VILLIERS, Sarah WAGENKNECHT, John WHITTAKER, Wojciech WIERZEJSKI, Tom WISE, Lars WOHLIN, Janusz WOJCIECHOWSKI, Vladimir ZELEZNY, Gabriele ZIMMER.