Members of European Parliament in Strasbourg reacted with rage after Syed Kamall, the leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), said Nazis subscribed to a “left-wing ideology” and “want the same things” as Socialists do.
Kamall, the voice of the U.K. Conservative Party in the Parliament, was responding to an earlier speech by German MEP Udo Bullmann, the leader of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, during which he said that “right-wing nationalism and extremists” are “undermining the European Union.”
In reply, Kamall told Bullmann: “When you talk about right-wing extremists, we have to remember that Nazis were national socialists. It’s a strain of socialism.”
He then added: “It’s a left-wing ideology, they want the same things as you, let’s be quite clear.” When the chamber erupted in outrage, with some MEPs shouting out “rubbish,” Kamall said: “You don’t like the truth, do you?”
European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans, who was sitting close to Kamall when he made the comments, appeared visibly angry at the British MEP’s comments.
Bullmann condemned Kamall’s statement, telling the Tory that it was “an awful thing to say.”
Kamall responded by saying he “gets tired” of people “saying that Nazism is a right-wing ideology,” before adding “If I have offended you, and I clearly have, I apologize unreservedly.” He later added on Twitter that his comments were not personal.
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