Hillary Clinton criticises Tory MEPs over failure to censure Hungary
Hillary Clinton Hillary Clinton criticises Tory MEPs over failure to censure Hungary
Former US presidential nominee says British Tories have come a long way since the party of Thatcher and Churchill
Hillary Clinton has delivered a stinging attack on the Conservative party for its MEPsâ failure to censure Hungaryâs authoritarian leader Viktor OrbÃ¡n.
Delivering the keynote speech at a conference at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at the University of Oxford, marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, she said the Tories had âcome a long way from the party of Churchill or Thatcherâ.
Last month, the Conservative group at the European parliament, v oted against measures to censure Hungary over its policies to reduce judicial independence and boost control over the media, as well as concerns about corruption.
The group, which was almost alone among centre-right parties in opposing the motion, argued the plan was counterproductive and would strengthen OrbÃ¡n domestically, but attracted criticism, including from the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Muslim Council of Britain.
The censure motion was passed at the European parliament by 448 votes to 197.
In her address, on Tuesday, Clinton, expressed concern about attacks on human rights globally, and said countries such as Hungary and Turkey were not real democracies âjust illiberal onesâ.
She said: âI hope the EU and the people of Europe will resist the backsliding we are seeing in the east. Itâs disheartening to watch Conservatives in Brussels vote to shield Viktor OrbÃ¡n from censure, including British Tories.â
In a wide-rang ing speechClinton compared the fragmentation in the world to that in the aftermath of the second world War, as she criticised Vladimir Putin, , Xi Jinping, and leaders in Poland, Egypt, the Philippines and her own country.
With respect to both European countries and the US, Clinton had strong words on immigration policies, calling for an end to the latterâs âcruel abuses at the borderâ.
She said: âHere in Europe, I add my voice to those warning about the risk of giving up on Schengen and the great benefits freedom of movement can deliver.â
Clinton said she was not talking about open borders but laws enforced fairly and with respect. In comments that could be interpreted as applying to the UK, given the part immigration played in the Brexit referendum campaign and the Windrush scandal, the former first lady said: âWe canât let fear or bias force us to give up the values that have made our democracies both great and good.
âOur goal should be to to build societies that are secure and welcoming, where everyone counts and everyone contributes - people who are newcomers to our lands and people who have lived in the same place for generations.â
Clinton, who stood unsuccessfully against Donald Trump in the last US presidential campaign, said such a goal was made harder by the the current US administration and the state of Europe. She described the US as being in crisis.
âThere are no tanks in the street of Washington and New York but our democratic institutions and traditions are under threat on many fronts,â she said.
She described the alleged murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week as a âgrave crimeâ if true.Topics
- Hillary Clinton
- Viktor OrbÃ¡n
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