This night I was sent to Middlesborough to talk to the hardy individuals who preferred politics to football for another Euro hustings. I was joined by representatives from Labour, UKIP, the Jury Team and No2EU. I tried to answer genuine questions from members of the public with genuine answers, which are sometimes nuanced. The minor parties there disappointed me as they displayed a lack of knowledge on the issues and instead fell into a populist grab bag of rhetoric. UKIP were particularly incoherent and their representative was very angry when UKIP MEPs actual record was raised. Of course in this European parliament, one quarter of their representatives have been convicted or left the party. The UKIP rep was quite proud that one of their MEPs Ashley Mote was dismissed from UKIP on his first day. It doesn't say much for their candidate selection.
Again I felt proud to be speaking up for my parties distinctive pro European approach. I was also pleased to mention Open Europe (a generally euro sceptic think tanks) review of MEP performance. Fiona Hall, the Lib Dem MEP for the North East, of course comes out best of all the MEPs in the NE. Find out more at http://www.openeurope.org.uk/