Former MEP big hitter fails to get re-elected in EU poll

By Martin Banks

One of the EU parliament’s longest serving former MEPs has failed to get re-elected.

Sir Graham Watson was a long standing MEP and sought to return to Parliament  as a candidate in Italy for an alliance backed by the country’s former PM Matteo Renzi.

Sir Graham told this site, “The United States of Europe list here failed to reach the threshold of 4% nationwide so none of us was elected.”

Admitting the electoral failure of his new party, he added, “The far right were the big winners.”

Sir Graham, who does not expect the party to continue at least in its present form, used to represent south west England between 1994 and 2014 and ran with the pro- European coalition Stati Uniti d’Europa (United States of Europe).

It involves an alliance between Renzi’s Italia Viva party and Piu Europa, a party led by former Italian foreign minister Emma Bonino and other groups including the  European Liberal Democrats wo proposed Sir Graham as the group’s candidate.

Sir Graham, who is married to an Italian and has Italian citizenship, also gave his reaction to the EU wide poll at the weekend which saw some gains for the far right in France, Italy and Germany.

The former MEP, famous for his barnstorming pro-EU speeches in parliament, added, “For Italy and for Europe I’d say that the foreign money-fuelled Cambridge Analytica style social media targetting formula continues to wreak havoc on traditional party politics, as it did in 2016  with Brexit and Donald Trump.”

He said the rise of the far right  and threat that Russia posed to the EU had compelled him to accept to stand again.

Sir Graham,who was born in Scotland and was once the president of the ALDE group in the EU parliament, went on, “For myself I’d simply quote Aristotle’s ‘we may not always achieve our goals, but it is our pursuit of them which changes the course of history’.”


About the author

Related Post

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *