Farage calls Cameron ‘chicken’ for dodging Brussels meeting
15 February 2016
Nigel Farage has accused David Cameron of being a "chicken" for dodging a planned meeting with him in Brussels tomorrow.
The Prime Minister was due to attend a meeting with the Ukip leader and other EU parliamentary group heads to discuss the package put forward for reforming Britain’s relationship with Brussels.
But the Eurosceptic party leader claimed the premier had “run away scared” after Downing Street said Mr Cameron was holding selected talks.
Mr Farage said: “The Prime Minister is a chicken. I received my official documentation this morning to say that I was one of several meeting the PM tomorrow morning and he has now run away scared.
“Frankly I’m not surprised. Not only is the deal pitiful but he would not want me exposing the fact that even if he wins the referendum, the European Parliament will veto it.”
Earlier this month, No 10 announced that Mr Cameron would “meet with the chairmen of the political groups ahead of the February European Council, at the so called Conference of Presidents meeting on 16th February”.
Technical notes were sent round in Brussels confirming details of the meeting, according to Ukip.
The party said it has not been informed of any change to the plan by officials.
Mr Cameron’s official spokeswoman said the Prime Minister will meet the president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz on Tuesday morning in Brussels, along with the three MEPs who have been appointed “sherpas” for the renegotiations, Guy Verhofstadt, Roberto Gualtieri and Elmar Brok.
He will then have separate meetings with leaders of the Socialist and EPP groupings in the European Parliament, Gianni Pitella and Manfred Weber.
Asked whether the PM will meet Mr Farage, the spokeswoman replied “No”.
Pressed on how his schedule of meetings in Brussels had been decided, the spokeswoman said: “He spoke to Mr Schulz last week and discussed what was the best way for him to use his time and it was agreed he would talk with the president, the sherpas and major group leaders.”
Mr Cameron was listed in agenda papers to address the conference of presidents, which includes all the group leaders, at 11.30am on Tuesday.
The Liberal Democrats said the Prime Minister had missed the chance to “stand tall” and make his case.
MEP Catherine Bearder said: “This is a missed opportunity for David Cameron to stand tall and make the case for Britain’s place in Europe.
“The people of the UK and Europe deserve a public debate on this issue that is so central to our shared prosperity and security.”