The Conservatives have become a party of “far-right ideology and intolerance”, according to MEP Richard Ashworth.
The former leader of the Conservative group in the European Parliament said he is extremely concerned that the party has “deserted the centre ground in favour of far-right ideology and intolerance”.
His words come following actions of Conservative MEPs in a vote in the European Parliament to censure the Hungarian government, which was described as a “very distressing moment” by Tory peer Lord Finkelstein.
It is also comes as Theresa May looked to appeal to the middle ground with an Observer op ed that called on Labour moderates to reconsider the party.
She said voters will find “a decent, moderate and patriotic programme that is worthy of their support” in the opinion piece, which has been met with condemnation online by people who flagged up the Windrush scandal, Universal Credit crisis and record levels of child poverty, food bank use and homelessness in countering her claims.
Ashworth was expelled from the Tories along with his colleague Julie Girling after previously having the whip removed for defying it on Brexit.
The two MEPs voted the opposite way to their Tory colleagues to censure the far-right government of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban, along with a large majority of other MEPs in the European Parliament.
He said: “Having been a party worker for over 30 years and, having been a former group leader and party board member, I find this extremely disappointing.
“I always have been, and always will be, a Conservative. However, I am surprised that the party does not apply the same standards in Westminster and I am extremely concerned that this once broad church, pragmatic Conservative party has deserted the centre ground in favour of far-right ideology and intolerance.”