However they claim that Geoffrey Van Orden is suited to the job because he knows the Bulgarian politicians well, after he was the Parliament's rapporteur for Bulgarian entry into the EU.
Couple of points. At the time he was doing the normal thing of swearing that there would be no major movement of people from Bulgaria to the UK (against all evidence of previous enlargements), and indeed describing those who warned against the enevitable as xenophobes, no Geoffrey, realists.
The second point is that this pious hope,
"Mr Van Orden has particularly strong links with Bulgarian politicians and, alongside the Czech ODS, Sofia may be the third major capital city of the new grouping".The problem is that the party which was unveiled by Cameron in Brussels earlier this year as the third pole of the new group, singuilarly failed to get any MEPs elected, and is unlikely to change that position in 2009. So Van Ordinaire will have his work cut out.
There again according to the Tory press officer over here, the new grouping is not in fact anything to do with leaving the EPP,
"The Conservatives' Peter WILDING said MER is a philosophical platform, not a political party, and does not interfere with EPP".