The EU parliament and the political groups have reacted sharply to Farage’s application for a motion of censure on Barroso.
The secretariat have challenged the authenticity of ten of the signatures (the implication being that they are forged) and have therefore refused to accept the motion until the signatures have been validated.
The political groups are leaning on the signatories to withdraw their names and an estimated four have already succumbed to the pressure and backed off. Hans-Gert Pöttering, leader of the EPP group of which the Tories are part, has been particularly active, pledging that all his group members will remove their names from the list. This is the man who said, of Farage's Barrot exposé: "What Mr Farage said is not worthy of the European Parliament."
Pöttering's pledge puts the five dissident Tory MEPs, Dan Hannan, Christopher Heaton-Harris, Roger Helmer, Martin Callanan and David Sumberg, very much under pressure. It will be very interesting to see if they stand their ground. Nevertheless, Farage is confident that replacements can be found for the faint-hearts – not least Kilroy-Silk who is apparently keen to add his name to the list.
Meanwhile, Barroso is trying to play down the whole affair, dismissing the motion as "absurd" – a stance that is being helped by the usual sloth of the media. The Telegraph did a small piece and so did The Sun, at the bottom of page two, next to a page three picture of a donkey and a lady wearing not very much at all. "Not very much at all", therefore, describes the coverage.