Tory MPs "do not endorse" Hungary's Orban by opposing the Census

Tory MPs "do not endorse" Hungary's Orban by opposing the Census

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media TitleMichael Gove said that individual criticism is not helpful

The Tory MPs have not supported Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban by rejecting EU measures to censor the nation, said Environment Minister Michael Gove.

Two-thirds of the European Parliament supported a motion against Mr Orban's government accused of attacking minorities and the rule of law.

Mr Gove told the BBC that a "long-standing principle" is not to interfere with the domestic policies of other states.

He refused to directly condemn the right-wing politician.

Mr Orban introduces himself as a defender of Hungary and Europe against Muslim migrants.

Criticized for his authoritarian style, he told Hungarian television: "We will never let Hungary become a destination for immigrants."

The European Parliament has decided to take unprecedented disciplinary action against Hungary for alleged breaches of the fundamental values ​​of the EU, which it denies.

  • What sanctions can the EU impose on Hungary?

After the vote on Wednesday, the The Board of Deputies of British Jews said it was disappointed Conservative MEPs voted in "Defense" of Hungary, while the Muslim Council of Britain questioned whether the Tories in turn sought support for their position on Brexit.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was one of the Labor MPs who criticized the vote and called Theresa May to "call" her MPs.

The conservative peer Lord Finklestein described it as "a really embarrassing affair that happens and is shameful."

However, the Tory MPs have stressed that they do not support Mr Orban.

Mr. Gove told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show: "It's not for me to rank as a leader of EU leaders.

"It is a long-standing principle that a number of MEPs from different countries and from different parties do not believe that the European Parliament should interfere with or censor the internal democracy of a particular country."

He was asked to directly condemn Mr Orban and said: "You or I may have some views on other countries, but the European Parliament and its members – British MEPs and others – believe that this is the wrong expression of criticism."


Who is Viktor Orban?

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Getty Images

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Viktor Orban has won a third term this year

Viktor Orban was re-elected earlier this year after campaigning for an anti-immigration platform. His Fidesz party won two-thirds of parliamentary seats.

Since taking power, his government has taken a tough stance against immigration.

It introduced a law requiring lawyers and activists to prosecute asylum seekers under the slogan "Facilitating Illegal Immigration".

But there have also been reports of pressure on the courts and the electoral system and widespread corruption.

  • The man who thinks that Europe will be invaded

Asked by Andrew Marr if the party needed Mr. Orban's support for his Brexit plan, Mr. Gove said, "No, because I think it would be wrong for us to need solidarity against a variety of threats. Semitism …

"I do not think that individual criticism of the way you understandably try to help me is contributing to solidarity both in terms of the issues that matter and on the best deal for Britain, if we are the European Leave the Union. "

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