Jim Nicholson: UUP, Tory or a bit of both?

An anonymous source suggests Slugger look more closely at the position of Jim Nicholson who despite the parting of the ways between the Conservatives and the UUP is still apparently taking the Tory whip in Brussels and Strasbourg [Are they still here? – Ed].

However, at home he has, from yesterday at least undergone a conversation from a Conservative and Unionist to a UUP MEP on his press statements. So Tom, Jim, are you guys still taking the Tory whip after all that’s been said in recent weeks/months?

  • In Europe it would probably be a group position of the ECR rather than ‘Tory’ Whip.

  • thedissenter is right. In the European Parliament nobody looks too askance at national delegations or sub-delegations voting differently to the group line – especially the ECR – and in fact Jim is probably closer to either wing of the fissiparous Tories than they are to each other.

  • Mick Fealty

    Of course, it just struck me as pass remarkable that Tories still have him on their team.

  • The ECR is a coalition of groups, and while the British Conservatives are the largest group, JN is technically a rep of a distinct party within that group. Number of Parties as important as number of members. Suspect it is more to do with practicality and the fact that as part of a group there are ‘benefits’. It could be possible to jump ship into the EPP (again) at some point, but that would be difficult with the voters. Plus, as a broad group ECR could always accept the DUP – there would be nothing to stop this happening. So practicality all round, on all sides. And while the Parties have gone their separate ways in NI, there is no reason for them not to co-operate where practical.

  • bogtrotter

    the dissenter

    is the point here not the fact that Nicholson isn’t in the ECR as an Ulster Unionist, but that he is a all singing all dancing Conservative MEP?

    Seems a strange set up to me. How would this run come 2014 when presumably a new Conservative Party would run a candidate, as would the UUP?

  • On the ECR website he is Ulster Conservatives and Unionists-New Force with the UUP logo http://www.ecrgroup.eu/mep-locator.asp?country=UK&subcat=1 but certainly not a Conservative Party rep. Course the original post could have fact checked that in the first instance.

    Make whatever you will of that.

  • FuturePhysicist

    Thanks dissenter, you clarified the subject very precisely. Jim Nicholson is an ECR man, not a Tory per say, the platform he was elected on.

  • Christian Schmidt


    Not quite, its not number of parties thatis important, its number of member states. And therefore while the ECR is somewhat short on that score, neither Nicholson or the DUP matter as they already have UK-members, that is the Tories. And the EPP has enough members from enough states anyway (though no Brits at the moment), so one more or less doesn’t matter to them at all.