Published: Wed, September 19, 2018

Around 1,000 Hungarians protest against Orban at pro-EU rally

Around 1,000 Hungarians protest against Orban at pro-EU rally

Szijjarto said Hungary was considering legal options to appeal the result because of the way the vote was tallied.

Mr Gove said he had "views" about Mr Orban but was "not going to be drawn" into giving an assessment of individual leaders.

Parliament recalls that Hungary's accession to the European Union "was a voluntary act based on a sovereign decision, with a broad consensus across the political spectrum" and underline that any Hungarian government has a duty to eliminate the risk of a serious breach of the EU's values.

Michael Gove has refused to condemn Viktor Orban, as the Conservatives faced a backlash for opposing European condemnation of the controversial Hungarian prime minister.

"I have nothing to compromise about since the questions they objected to were decided by the Hungarian people", Orban said Tuesday in Strasbourg, France, after the debate in the European Parliament on the report on Hungary.

Since coming to power, his government has taken a hard-line stance against immigration.

Hungary is accused of flouting European Union rules on democracy, civil rights and corruption, with government attacks on the courts and media seen as a threat to the Euopean rules-based order. This could eventually lead to sanctions, such as the suspension of the voting rights in the Council. The EU member states may also choose to address recommendations to Hungary to counter the risk.

Conservative peer Lord Finklestein described it as "a really distressing thing to happen and shameful".

This week the Board president Marie van der Zyl, "noted with disappointment" that Conservative Party MEPs have voted in defence of Hungary's far-right government of Viktor Orban.

"It's a long-standing principle of a number of MEPs from different countries and from different parties not to believe that the European Parliament should interfere in or censure the internal democracy of a particular country".

But Mr Orban's Russian Federation visit is also being interpreted as an act of defiance in the European Union.

Asked by Marr if the party needed Mr Orban's support for its Brexit plan, Mr Gove said: "No, because I think it would be wrong for me at a time when we need solidarity against a number of different threats - you mention anti-Semitism".

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