Referring to Dan's statement,
My own Chief Whip, Den Dover, was kind enough to see me afterwards and reassure me that nothing I had said was against Conservative policy, that our party is strongly in favour of a referendum and that, in any case, we are all pledged to leave the EPP next year. If the EPP excluded me, he added, that was their business. As far as he was concerned, I would sit as a Conservative and a member of the Conservative delegation, in receipt of the Tory Whip and as a re-selected Tory candidate.Mr Dover has responded thus,
"In his Article on why the EPP wants to expel him my colleague Dan Hannan MEP attributes comments to me that I would never make. What he said was nothing to do with Conservative Party policy. Our Party is indeed strongly in favour of a referendum on the so called Reform Treaty (the Constitution). We will examine all options open to us, as UK Conservative MEPs, from June 2009 but no watertight pledges are in place, or expected in the near future. Finally I reminded him that he has just been re-adopted as a Conservative Candidate for the June 2009 European Elections for the South East. However I am not the only one who decides, in the light of his ill-advised comments in the Chamber and to the Press what his future will be".Now Den is a good bloke, and is without doubt on the eurosceptic wing of the Tory delegation. But he is also the chief whip and as such is responsible for internal discipline. There will be those, for example Beazley who will be demanding a far more stringent approach to Dan than we have seen so far.
However if the only support he gets is from Nigel Farage and Roger Helmer, and if the badly veiled threat is carried out, then it cannot be beyond the bounds of possibility that UKIP may have two committed MEPs in the South East of England after 2009.