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This is the official release:

"Timothy Kirkhope elected Leader of Conservatives in the European Parliament

Timothy Kirkhope MEP has today been elected to lead British Conservative MEPs – the largest British delegation in the European Parliament.

Mr Kirkhope will succeed Philip Bushill-Matthews MEP, who will stand down from the European Parliament next June. He has appointed Sir Robert Atkins MEP as his Chief Whip and Philip Bradbourn MEP to a new role relating to Parliamentary Activity.

Richard Ashworth MEP was elected as Deputy Leader of the delegation.

Syed Kamall MEP was elected as Treasurer and the two elected members of the Conservative delegation bureau will be David Sumberg MEP and Martin Callanan MEP.

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Mr Kirkhope said:

"It is a great honour to be elected to lead Conservative MEPs, and I look forward to building on the excellent work of my predecessor.

"Conservative MEPs are delivering David Cameron’s vision of a European Union that focuses on climate change, global poverty and competitiveness, but which also wants to see powers returned to national governments.

"Conservatives have a positive message for EU reform, so that it responds more effectively to the demands of our citizens without interfering in areas where no value is added. I look forward to taking our positive message to the electorate leading up to the European Parliament elections next June.""

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