Syed Kamall, the well-liked London MEP, has been elected today as the Leader of the Conservative MEPs – a post in which he will be working with another Tory MEP, Martin Callanan, who leads the group in which our MEPs sit, the ECR.

The election was a two horse race, in which Syed was up against the incumbent, Richard Ashworth.

It’s fair to say that over the years the leader hasn’t always come from the most eurosceptic side of the party, and Syed’s victory is certainly a move to a more sceptical position. Many readers will know him as an extremely active MEP who is regularly seen supporting local Associations in London and elsewhere.

I’ve known him for many years, and can honestly say he is one of the nicest people in politics, as well as one of the most hardworking.

Here’s his statement on the news:

“I am proud and honoured to have been chosen to lead this talented and committed team of politicians at a crucial time.

I am determined that people will hear loud and clear our message of reform in Europe, of a new relationship with the EU and of giving the British people the right to accept or reject it in a referendum.

I am determined that we see as many Conservatives as possible elected to the European Parliament in May because we are the only ones who will properly protect Britain’s interests.

I am also determined that our work must focus on the legislative areas that really matter here, where real change is achieved, where taxpayers money is spent or saved and where dangerous  proposals are blocked – not the many talking shops that give Brussels such a bad reputation.”

I look forward to taking forward our radical vision of a new deal in Europe – that works for Britain – and to making our case both in the parliament and at home in the UK.”