Fianna Fáil to discuss expelling Brian Crowley

MEP faces possible expulsion from parliamentary party over joining group

Brian Crowley:  move from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) within the European Parliament to the European Conservative and Reformist (ECR) group was in defiance of Micheál Martin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Brian Crowley: move from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) within the European Parliament to the European Conservative and Reformist (ECR) group was in defiance of Micheál Martin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Fianna Fáil TDs and Senators will today discuss whether to allow their only MEP stay within the parliamentary party after he chose to join a Eurosceptic alliance led by the UK Conservative Party.

Ireland South MEP Brian Crowley’s move from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) within the European Parliament to the European Conservative and Reformist (ECR) group was in defiance of Mícheál Martin.

The issue will be discussed by the parliamentary party today, and Mr Crowley’s switch was described as “unacceptable” by chief whip Seán Ó Fearghaíl and chairman Brendan Smith.

A spokesman said their views reflected those of the leader. Senior TDs said it was no longer tenable for Mr Crowley, who topped the poll in his constituency last month, to remain within the parliamentary party.

Time to ‘move on’

“If you take this course of action, then you move on,” said one TD, who did not want to state his position before today’s meeting. “It would be like someone here joining the technical group and it’s not dissimilar to Lucinda [Creighton] leaving the Fine Gael parliamentary party but remaining a member of the party.”

It was argued Mr Crowley had “made the decision for himself” by joining an alternative political grouping to ALDE, of which Fianna Fáil remains a “committed member” .

Mr Martin’s spokesman said the leader would make his position clear today, and added that Mr Crowley had gone against “50 years of Fianna Fáil economic and foreign policy”.