EU nominee Lord Hill to sell shares in PR company

Britain's nominee for the European Commission is to sell his shares in a public relations and lobbying firm to avoid any suggestion of a conflict of interest.

EU Parliament president rows back from Hill comments

The President of the European Parliament has distanced himself from remarks in which he claimed the UK's nominee to the EU Commission was supposed to have "radical anti-European views".

German politician Martin Schulz had suggested Lord Hill would find it difficult to be approved for a Commission post because of his apparently eurosceptic views.

The remark prompted Ukip leader Nigel Farage to claim Mr Schulz had made a "declaration of war" on the British government's nominee.

Martin Schulz said he was 'glad' to learn Lord Hill was not a hardline eurosceptic.
Martin Schulz said he was 'glad' to learn Lord Hill was not a hardline eurosceptic. Credit: Wiktor Dabkowski/DPA/Press Association Images

But he said he was "glad to hear" from friends that Lord Hill was in fact "more pro-European than anything else in the UK context".

Read: EU nominee Lord Hill to sell shares in PR firm

Labour: Lord Hill nomination 'a shambles'

Labour have called the nomination of Lord Hill as the UK's next European Commissioner "a shambles".

David Cameron's choice has come under further scrutiny after it was announced Lord Hill would be selling his shares in a lobbying firm to avoid accusations of a conflict of interest.

Shadow Europe Minister Gareth Thomas said: "David Cameron's approach to Europe goes from bad to worse."

"After his complete failure to stop Jean-Claude Juncker becoming Commission president this shambles will not help in rebuilding our influence to secure crucial reforms."

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EU nominee Lord Hill to sell shares in PR firm

by - Political Correspondent

Britain's nominee for the European Commission is to sell his shares in a public relations and lobbying firm to avoid any suggestion of a conflict of interest.

Lord Hill holds shares in Huntsworth plc, which bought the company he founded, Quiller Consulting, in 2006.

Lord Hill is selling the shares to avoid a possible conflict of interest.
Lord Hill is selling the shares to avoid a possible conflict of interest.

Video: Lord Hill: I would have been 'mad' to turn down EU job

Downing Street does not seem to believe the shareholding does create a conflict of interest, pointing out that Lord Hill has been a minister for four years and sits in the Cabinet.

That raises the question: 'Why are shares in a lobbying firm OK for a British Cabinet Minister, but don't look good for a potential EU Commissioner?"

Lord Hill: I would have been 'mad' to turn down EU job

Lord Hill, David Cameron's nominee as Britain's new European Commissioner, said he would have been "mad" not to accept the Prime Minister's offer.

Asked whether he was a eurosceptic, the former lobbyist said he was "not one for names or badges or boxes" but that he wanted to reform Europe to make it stronger and serve citizens better.

Mr Cameron is in Brussels tonight in a bid to secure one of the key economic portfolios in the European Commission for Britain.

Read: Cameron to seek top European job for Lord Hill