By Martin Banks - 24th November 2010
Comparing a German MEP to Hitler is an absolute and utter disgrace
Controversial UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom faces disciplinary action after he called German socialist leader Martin Schulz an "undemocratic fascist."
Bloom was immediately expelled from the parliamentary chamber in Strasbourg after his angry outburst on Wednesday.
His attack came during a debate on the 2011 EU budget when Schulz demanded more power for the EU and accused UKIP of effectively trying to "destroy" the EU.
During his speech, Bloom intervened, saying one of the Nazis' most-repeated political slogans. "Ein volk, ein Reich, ein Führer" (One People, One Nation, One Leader).
Schulz protested and when parliament's vice president Edward McMillan-Scott demanded an apology, Bloom replied, "The views of Herr Schulz make the case. He is an undemocratic fascist."
MEPs were asked if they wanted to expel Bloom and, after a short, delay in agreed to walk out.
MEP Barry Madlener, from the Dutch Freedom Party, intervened and said, "The way the rules have been applied has been uneven. Schulz called a colleague a fascist, but no sanctions were applied to him."
Schulz was complaining about the British position on an agreement between German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy about treaty changes in return for a lower increase in EU budget.
He said the UKIP position was destroying the EU. Pointing at and criticising the eurosceptic EFD group who were clapping at this, he said, "These people, if they had their way would destroy the EU."
Later Bloom said, "Schulz is an unrepentant Euro nationalist. He wants one currency, one EU state, one EU people. The commission has already taken control of the economies of Ireland and Greece, no doubt others to follow.
"These Euro nationalists are a danger to democracy. These people are fanatics. People have got to wake up to this fact. My father as a spitfire pilot fought for freedom against Nazi domination of Europe. As an MEP I will fight against the destruction of democracy across Europe."
Reaction to the furore was swift with UKIP leader Nigel Farage saying, "Whereas we accept that Bloom's jibe may have been rash and inflammatory we fully support his sentiments about the formation of an undemocratic Europe."
UK Socialist deputy Richard Howitt said, "Comparing a German MEP to Hitler is an absolute and utter disgrace, Bloom must be made to withdraw these remarks before he is allowed back into the parliament, it is nothing but hate mongering and shames the memory of all those who died at Hitler's bloodstained hands.
"The far right links between the BNP and UKIP were tangible today as the BNP gave Bloom a standing ovation".
Glenis Willmott, Labour's leader in parliament, said, "Once again UKIP is trying to brew up a storm to make headlines back home. Godfrey Bloom's actions are an insult to all those who have fought against fascism."
Later, the leaders of the main political groups, including the EPP, ALDE, Greens/EFA, ECR and GUE/NGL, issued a statement saying they "firmly condemn the insulting remarks directed at Martin Schulz."
It said, "We can never accept that MEPs insult their colleagues in a way that recalls the worst hours of our history."
"In this time of serious economic and social crisis affecting the whole of the EU solidarity and dignity are more than ever needed from the representatives of the peoples of Europe."
It was signed by Joseph Daul, Guy Verhofstadt, Rebecca Harms and Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Michal Kaminski, Lothar Bisky.