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EU’s Donald Tusk backs Change UK’s Jan Rostowski in European elections



LONDON — The EU’s most senior official has made an unprecedented intervention in the European elections on Thursday by urging British voters to support a Change UK candidate running to become an MEP.

European Council President Donald Tusk, the former prime minister of Poland, urged voters in the capital to back Jan Rostoswki in Thursday’s vote, who served under Tusk as finance minister and was later deputy prime minister.

In a statement, Tusk said: “Jan Rostowski worked with me as finance minister of Poland for six years and then as my Deputy Prime Minister.”

“Not only was he the best finance minister in Europe during the financial crisis, he is also a very dear friend who would make a great MEP for London, which I know he loves.

“I urge Londoners who want Britain to stay in the EU to vote for him.”

Rostowski, who was Poland’s finance minister between 2007 and 2013, told Business Insider in April that he was running to become an MEP in London to try and promote a People’s Vote and reverse the “lies” of the Brexit campaign.

“The lie was that you could have your cake and eat it,” he said.

“The lie was that you could have frictionless trade without the obligations of membership.”

Change UK, which has suffered from a disastrous European elections campaign, is polling nationally on 4%, according to a YouGov survey.

Tusk, who served as Poland’s prime minister between 2007 and 2014, has played a central role in Brexit negotiations with the UK and is often the focal point of anger for Brexit supporters who believe he has frustrated the UK’s attempts to leave the EU.

After Theresa May was granted an Article 50 extension in March, Tusk said he hoped the government would use the time to reverse the decision to leave the EU or seek an even longer delay.

Earlier in May, he said the chances of the UK cancelling Brexit altogether had risen to 30 per cent.

“A real debate about the consequences of Brexit wasn’t had during the referendum campaign, but only after the vote. Today the result would probably look different. Paradoxically, Brexit awoke in Great Britain a pro-European movement,” he said in an interview with a Polish newspaper.

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