A prominent member of Hungary’s ruling party resigns after attending a...

2 December 2020 01:30 GMT
Joseph Shire, Hungarian Member of the European Parliament, April 2019

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Joseph Shire is a prominent member of Hungary’s ruling party

A prominent member of Hungary’s ruling party, known for its anti-gay stance, resigned after attending a “gay sex party” in Brussels that violated lockdown rules.

Police arrested Joseph Shire, a member of the European Parliament and a leader of the Hungarian Civic Union party, following reports about a party in a house that violated the closure rules.

Prosecutors said that drugs were found with Shire, who tried to escape from the party.

Shire apologized for his “personal mistake”.

According to reports, the ceremony, which was held in an apartment in central Brussels, was attended by 25 people, most of them males. Police raided the place on suspicion of violating the restrictions imposed due to the spread of the Corona virus.

The Belgian news agency “Belga” said that some of the party’s participants were naked when the police stormed the venue.

Belgian media described the ceremony as a “gay sex party”.

The BBC’s Nick Thorpe, the BBC’s Budapest correspondent, says that Shire’s sudden resignation from the European Parliament surprised his political friends and opponents alike.

On Friday, Shire tried to defend himself, citing his parliamentary immunity. But the European Parliament said that the immunity law applied only to the official duties of members of the European Parliament, not to their private lives.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Shire admitted that he attended the said ceremony.

He said, “I did not take drugs. I immediately told the police that I was ready to undergo an official examination, but they did not.”

He added, “The police said that doping was found. It wasn’t mine, I don’t know who put it in or how it happened. I made a statement to the police about that.”

Shire said, “Sorry for breaking the assembly rules. It was an irresponsible act on my part, and I will bear the accompanying penalties.”

According to the Belgian daily “De Standaard”, the usual fine for violating the Covid rules on assembly is 250 euros.

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Nick Thorpe: BBC correspondent in Budapest

Joseph Shire’s resignation and his admission that he participated in what the media described as a “gay intercourse party”, dealt a serious blow to Hungary’s ruling party.

Shire, 59, was one of the party’s founders in March 1988 and is still close to Prime Minister Viktor Orban. He was a member of the European Parliament for 16 years.

Shire played a major role in keeping Hungary’s ruling party in the conservative political rally, despite harsh criticism. He is married to Tundi Handu, the former head of the National Judicial Office, and now a judge on the Constitutional Court.

This sex scandal is particularly embarrassing for a party that campaigns for traditional family values ​​and recently proposed a law barring homosexuals from adopting children.

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