•Senior Tory MEP Robert Atkins described the Icelandic Fisheries Minister as "Stalinist" for not wanting his country to join the EU.
Atkins recently returned from a taxpayer funded EU delegation to Iceland. The Icelandic Fisheries Minister expressed his concerns about what EU membership would mean for Iceland's fishing stocks and fishing industry. Robert Atkins told the European parliament's Foreign Affairs committee that he would compare this minister, Jón Bjarnason, to 'Stalinists', a remark that was immediately challenged by UKIP MEP William Dartmouth.
"The remark citing Jón Bjarnason as a follower of Stalin was completely gratuitous and uncalled for" said William Dartmouth, UKIP MEP for South West England. "Iceland has a 1,000 year old Parliament and one of the longest standing traditions of personal liberty. For an elected Member of the European Parliament which has direct elections only since 1979 to attack an elected Icelandic Minister in these jarring and gross terms is reprehensible".
William Dartmouth called on Robert Atkins to apologise to the Icelandic Minister and to the nation of Iceland.