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CAM'S EU TURN; Leader drops only policy he pledged.

Byline: By BOB ROBERTS, Deputy Political Editor

DAVID Cameron did a u-turn yesterday on pulling Tory MEPs out of an alliance of EU moderates - the only policy he had promised during his leadership bid.

Cameron had won support from Conservative right-wingers by vowing to withdraw from the European People's Party in "months not years".

But yesterday he effectively ditched the move by delaying any decision until at least 2009 - and claimed staying in the alliance would help the party to "make the EU confront its failings".

Geoff Hoon, Labour's Europe spokesman, hit out at the "broken promise", adding: "When it comes to matters of policy judgment, David Cameron gets it wrong."

Lib Dem party chief Norman Lamb said: "How can we trust him to keep any promises?"

And Tory MEP Caroline Jackson said delaying the decision was like saying, "I am going to divorce you but I am going to live in the same house as you for the next three years."

The move to stay in the EPP threatens to re-open Tory divisions on Europe.

Mr Cameron made his announcement after agreeing to start a new centre-right EU group with the, Czech Republic. It will not be set up until after the 2009 European elections to give the Czechs time to form a coalition government.

Voice of the Mirror: Page 6

bob.roberts@mirror.co.uk

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 14, 2006
Words:232
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