By Martin Banks - 15th December 2010
He represents different views to mine
A senior Polish member of the ECR group has admitted he finds it "difficult" serving under the leadership of Michal Kaminski.
Marek Grobarczyk, a fellow ECR member, said, "Kaminski represents different ideas to those I hold so, yes, it is difficult working under him."
It is the first time anyone from the ECR has broken ranks and publicly stated the current discontent said to exist within the group under Kaminski's leadership.
The group has been plunged into turmoil following a damaging split between members of its 15-strong Polish delegation.
Kaminski and three other Polish ECR MEPs recently quit the Law and Justice party after a bitter dispute over policy.
Kaminski said "he did not like" the direction Law and Justice was taking and set up a new 'association' called "Poland Comes First."
Currently, the 'breakaway four' remain in the ECR group along with the 11 MEPs from Law and Justice, known as PIS in Poland.
This has fuelled recent speculation about the future of the whole group. There were even rumours of a possible vote on confidence - officially discounted - on Kaminski during this week's Strasbourg plenary.
One Tory member of the ECR group told this website that "discussions" were taking place between members of the Polish delegation.
This is thought to include the viability of the 11 Law and Justice members quitting ECR and, possibly, joining the EFD group, jointly led by UKIP's Nigel Farage.
Grobarczyk, a former minister of maritime affairs in Poland, said, "The current situation is very strange, confusing and complicated for us.
"Currently, given what has happened I personally find it difficult to accept Mr Kaminski as leader. He represents different views to mine."
He added, "However, I remain full of hope that something can be sorted out between us all. I hope that this is no more than a temporary problem."
Former Tory MEP Edward McMillan-Scott, who left the Tories after a bitter row over Kaminski, said, "I think the whole thing is unravelling."
ECR comprises 25 British Tory MEPs, 15 Poles and nine from the Czech ODS, with one each from Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The row is embarrassing to Tory party leader David Cameron because if PIS were to leave the group it is likely to fall apart.
The group was formed after Cameron decided to pull the Tories out of the mainstream EPP group.
A spokesman for ECR said, "This remains an internal matter for the Polish delegation. As far as I am aware all parties remain committed to the group."