France's National Front, lead by Marine Le Pen, and the Dutch PVV party have formed a new far-right group in the European Parliament, with details announced at a press conference in Brussels this morning.
In order to form the 36-member group Le Pen has had to recruit MEPs from six other nations. The new Europe of Nations and Freedoms (ENF) is likely to include at least one member from the Dutch PVV, the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Hungarian far-right party Jobbik, Austria’s FPÖ, Italy’s Lega Nord and Belgium’s Vlaams Belang.
It appears that a vice chair will be former UKIP member Janice Atkinson, without whom it would not have been possible to form a new far-right group. By doing this, the National Front (FN) and its partners will be entitled to more speaking time during the plenary sessions, more staff - and more allowances.
Jean Lambert, London Green MEP and Vice-President of the All-Party Group against Racism, said: "This new Group is an affront to those who value universal human rights and international solidarity. If Janice Atkinson has provided the seventh nationality needed to complete this monstrous mosaic, she should hang her head in shame."
"I am appalled that Le Pen has been able to form her hate-based Group due to the addition of a British MEP, who has now shown that she is willing to co-operate with those that want to divide society along racial, ethnic and faith lines and are willing to co-operate across borders to do that." Ms Lambert added.