Tuesday

25th Apr 2017

Focus

Le Pen meets Ukip man

  • Marine Le Pen in a Brussels hotel lobby meeting ex-Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom (Photo: EUobserver)

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen on Thursday evening (5 June) met outgoing independent MEP Godfrey Bloom, who still retains Ukip membership in Britain.

Officially, Ukip is not interested in an alliance with Le Pen, but Bloom is a long-time supporter of the French politician and has ignored Ukip leader Nigel Farage's request not to contact her.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Bloom lost the Ukip whip and left the European Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group earlier this year after having jokingly called a female audience "sluts" and after having slapped a BBC journalist on the street.

He has retained party membership back home, but has not been re-elected to the new parliament.

According to sources close to the meeting, Bloom had a friendly conversation with Le Pen, who was interested in how her party might be perceived in Britain.

He told her that her worries the National Front may be seen as anti-Semitic are unfounded because in Britain "hardly anyone knows what anti-Semitic means".

EFD spokesman Herman Kelly told this website the meeting does not mean the two parties will formally team up in the EP. "Nigel told him to desist from any interaction with her. What he's doing is on his own," Kelly said.

Le Pen is confident she can get enough MEPs (minimum 25) from enough countries (minimum seven) to form a group even without Ukip.

So is Farage, who last week had a lunch with Italian comedian-turned-politician Beppe Grillo in the Ravenstein, an Indian restaurant in the centre of Brussels.

Farage later posted on his Facebook page that he had "great fun" with the Italian leader of the Five Star Movement, who has a "huge personality".

The lunch didn't lead to a political alliance and has hampered efforts by Grillo to get his 17 deputies into the Green group.

Other talks are being held by the Greens with independent MEPs from Sweden, Germany, and the Netherlands in an effort to get them to join their group.

More one-on-one meetings among MEPs are expected next week, as groups need to be formed by 24 June when the numbers in each faction are formally counted. After this committee chairmanship and membership will be decided - something that will be keenly watched by Brussels' thousands of lobbyists.

An overview of parties switching groups and new MEPs joining new or old groups can be found here.

Greens reject Beppe Grillo's offer to team up

The EP's Greens have rejected a request by Italy's Five Star movement for group membership. Meanwhile Ukip's Farage may have difficulty forming an EP political group.

Le Pen gathers allies for new far-right EP group

French leader Marine Le Pen of the National Front was in Brussels Wednesday to gather allies, but came up short in her bid to form a far-right European Parliament group.

EUobserved

When two worlds collide

Two worlds collided at the end of last week. The shrill, uncompromising one of British politics and the technocratic, dry, world of the European Commission.

EUobserved

Schadenfreude and fire-walking in the EP

There was outright glee in the EP on Thursday. It was time to dust off everyone’s favourite German word for pleasure in the misfortune of others.

EU parliament approves Juncker commission

MEPs have approved Juncker's new EU commission, with a slightly smaller majority than in 2010, and following a number of concessions on portfolios.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  2. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  3. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  4. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  5. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  6. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  7. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region and the US: A Time of Warlike Rhetoric and Militarisation?
  9. European Free AllianceEFA MEPs Vote in Favor of European Parliament's Brexit Mandate
  10. Mission of China to the EUXinhua Insight: China to Open up Like Never Before
  11. World VisionViolence Becomes New Normal for Syrian Children
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsTime to Turn the Tide and End Repression of Central Asia's Civil Society

Latest News

  1. Le Pen-Poutine: des liens qui remontent à loin
  2. Juncker breaks tradition with support for Macron
  3. Les fake news inondent les réseaux sociaux français
  4. Les amis de Le Pen à la Trump Tower
  5. France's election run-off will be far-right versus EU
  6. Alternative for Germany party refuses to shun extreme right
  7. Brexit summit, Turkey and Hungary dominate EU This WEEK
  8. Russia threat triggers European military spending hike