East Midlands MEP Roger Helmer to stand down

EAST Midlands Conservative MEP Roger Helmer is to resign from his seat in the European Parliament.

On Wednesday he announced his intention to down from December 31 after 12-and-a-half years service.

In an open letter to the European Parliament he said: “I understand that under our electoral rules, my place will be taken by the next-in-line from our 2009 East Midlands Conservative MEP candidate list.

“This will be my friend and colleague Rupert Matthews, in whom I have great confidence. I commend him to you and to the parliament, and I am sure that he will become a distinguished member of this house.”

Commenting on Mr Helmer’s decision, fellow Conservative MEP, Emma McClarkin said: “Roger has been a colourful character in East Midlands Politics.

“Over his 12 years’ service as a Conservative Member of the European Parliament he has represented the East Midlands and its constituents with great passion.

“He has been a vociferous defender of the UK in Brussels and extremely active in the region supporting businesses, farming communities as well as numerous local campaigns with great vigour. I wish him well and hope he enjoys his well-deserved retirement.”