Anti EU Nigel Farage group collapses after Latvian MEP leaves

  • 2014-10-16
  • By Rayyan Sabet-Parry, RIGA

EFD and UKIP leader Nigel Farage (photo: AFP)

A euroskeptic group in the European Parliament has collapsed after controversial Latvian politician Iveta Grigule left the group on Thursday.

MEP Grigule announced Thursday she had left the the eurosceptic Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group, led by Britain's UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

The EFD group "no longer has members from at least seven countries, so declared dissolved today", parliament spokesman Jaume Duch said.

Seven is the minimum number of parties required to form a group in the European Parliament.

The blow to Farage comes just days after his UK Independence Party (UKIP) won its first parliamentary seat in Britain's House of Commons.

UKIP wants to pull Britain out of the European Union and is also campaigning for stronger immigration controls, the AFP news agency reports.

After a strong performance in May's European Parliament elections, Farage gathered together 48 MEP's for his EFDD group. The largest contingent was made up of members from UKIP, followed by 17 from Italian politician Grillo's group.

The main center-right group in the Brussels parliament, the European People's Party, celebrated the collapse of Farage's group.

"First defeat for eurosceptics! EFDD group disappears with departure of Latvian Iveta Grigule," the group tweeted.

Grigule, a member of Latvia's Union of Greens and Farmers party, said she had originally joined the anti EU parliamentary group as her party agreed with its values.

Latvian MEP Iveta Grigule (photo: AFP)