Conservative Leader, David Cameron is due to sign a joint declaration of intent with the Czech Civic Democrats (ODS) at 4pm today, announcing their intention to leave the EPP (European Peoples Party) after the next European elections. However, he has avoided consternation within the gay community by rejecting for now an alliance with the homophobic Polish Law and Justice Party (LJP).
Conservative MEPs stood for the 2004 European elections as British candidates for the EPP, the right of centre alliance of like minded parties.
William Hague showed the ConservativeHome website a draft of the declaration earlier today. It announces the formation of a new “movement for European Reform, dedicated to the ideals of a more modern, open, flexible and decentralised European Union”, and “That at the commencement of the next legislature period of the European Parliament, following the elections in 2009, our elected members will establish a new parliamentary group, which other like-minded parties will be invited to join, and whose purpose will be to give leadership and representation to these ideals.”
Mr Hague’s official spokesperson told PinkNews.co.uk that the Polish LJP wished to join an alliance with the Conservative party immediately, but that Messrs Hague and Cameron felt that the social conservatism of some LJP members ruled out an immediate relationship.
Lech Kaczynski, Poland’s president, who is a key figure in the controversial party, banned gay rights marches when he was mayor of Warsaw. He is also known as a staunch supporter of the death penalty.
Homophobic rhetoric has increased amongst politicians in Poland recently, last month deputy minister of education Miroslaw Orzechowskiego, accused the Campaign against Homophobia, a Polish gay group, of “depraving young people.” Pointing to an international seminar on gender stereotypes that the group co-sponsored in 2005, he said the ministry would work to ?prevent such organisations from getting money in the future.?
In recent weeks, another Polish minister, Wojciech Wierzejski, blamed “homos” for conspiring against him.
More recently gay bars have been closed and organisations banned in Warsaw.
Michael Cashman, the Labour MEP for the West Midlands, previously criticised the negotiations, “The omens are deeply worrying. Teaming up to the Law and Justice party indicates to me proof positive that David Cameron is using the tactics of George Bush’s compassionate Conservatism in order to achieve power, at which point he will reveal his true colours.”
Last month, the European Union passed a resolution to combat homophobia and racism on the continent, which would see sentences handed down for homophobic, anti-Semitic, and anti-Muslim offences.