I have speculatedthat the new European Parliament Grouping of the Tories, the Conservative and Reformist Group (CRG) is going to find life a little dificult.
They have been used to a big group where a little differences are generally hidden and the size of the group creates ts own gravity, keeping people within the group's orbit. They have no experience of the nips and tucks of group management. If they loose two sub groups then their experiment of non EPP membership will end in embarrasing disastor.
So it is with interest that the first cracks are showing.
Today the nominations for the Vice-Presidents of Parliament close (The President will be decided by annointation as the choice is a toss up between Jerzy Buzek (seen wandering around his new empire on Sunday this weekend- trying it out for size) of the EPP and some Communist).
The CRG is getting a Tory as the Group leaders - with a place on the Conference of Presidents and the parliament's Bureau as goodies) - a minor battle between Geoffrey Vin Ordinaire and the plodding Timothy Kirkhope. However the deal cut with the Polish PiS is that their nomibnation gets the VP post.
Not if last term's EP V-P, Edward MacMillan-Scott is very unhappy about this - claiming that there was no vote and no doubt wiffling on about lack of democracy in the Group. Really he despises the new Group, is happy to bugger it up and suffers from a serious degree of political vanity.
He has collected the required signatures and believes that in a contested election (there is one more candidate than VP slot) he will beat the CRG official Pole.
This will set the first of many many headaches for Van Kirkhope to cauterise in maintaining the impression that everything is fine.
It isn't and even a casual observer knows that.
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