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Labour MEP Michael Cashman has accused the Conservative Party of failing to condemn violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Europe.

Mr Cashman,president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup for Gay and Lesbian Rights’ remarks come after Tory MEPs abstained in an EU vote last week that condemned racist and homophobic violence.

Former EastEnder turned West Midlands MEP, Mr Cashman, told PinkNews.co.uk, “This vote was a real opportunity for the Tories to prove that they have changed, and they failed. Abstaining on vital issues like these is inexcusable.

“We cannot be indifferent to violence and crime, nor can we condone discrimination with silence. Cameron owes the British public an explanation. Failure to do so will be proof positive that neither he nor his Tory party have changed.”

A spokesman for the Conservative Party in Europe told PinkNews.co.uk, “Our group voted with a majority for two resolutions condemning homophobic and racist violence.

“We abstained on the Cashman proposal over a technical matter because he listed examples which we felt was unhelpful.”