A British member of the European Parliament was expelled after comparing the body’s procedures to Nazi rule.
Daniel Hannan, a member of the European Parliament from the British Conservative Party, was removed from the center-right parliamentary group on Jan. 31. During a debate on the procedural rules of the parliament, in session in Brussels, Hannan voiced his opposition to a measure that would allow the parliament’s president to speed up the session by overruling certain procedural demands of individual parliamentarians.
Hannan stated that the proposal was comparable to the 1933 Enabling Act that gave Hitler unlimited power. Speaking to Hans-Gert PÃ¶ttering from Germany, the president of the parliament, Hannan said: “It is only my affection for youâ€¦ that prevents me from likening this to the ErmÃ¤chtigungsgesetz.”
The remark sparked a vehement response from Joseph Daul of France, chairman of the European People’s Party-European Democrats, who called Hannan’s remarks “disgraceful” and “incompatible with the EPP-ED group’s values.” Daul then expelled Hannan from the group, depriving him of funds for publications, resarch and communications staff.
Many other members of parliament condemned Hannan’s statement, with the leader of the center-left Socialist group, Martin Schulz, calling on the Conservative Party to expel Hannan. “The Conservatives in Great Britain and their leader David Cameron should reflect on whether such people, so close to the right-wing extremists, should be in their party,” Schulz said.
Hannan apologized later in the evening, stating: “I do not compare anyone to the Nazis. That would be completely inappropriate and if I have caused any offense by my remarks, I apologize.”
He called on the Conservative Party to dissociate itself from the EPP-ED.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.