In his letter – a copy of which was published online by business weekly Figyelo – Volner, referring to Jobbik's endeavours to turn itself into a "people's party", scorned attempts to forge a close alliance with green party LMP.

The letter said he had initiated an extraordinary party congress to thwart what he called an effort by Jobbik leaders to bring about a "merger" with LMP.

The deputy party leader said Jobbik's place is on the "national side of the political spectrum … Jobbik has to be saved. We must not cosy up to liberals and leftists. We have to serve the Hungarian people and not them."

Referring to Jobbik's endeavours to become a "people's party", Volner said LMP is "a party that defines itself in its statutes as liberal and centre-left ... and which, in any case, is in the midst of a cycle of self-destruction". Such an alliance would compromise Jobbik's founding values and objectives, and "guarantee another two-thirds majority to [ruling] Fidesz".

Volner said he was ready to compete in a fair, democratic vote, and expressed hope that Jobbik leader Tamás Sneider would put his initiative on the agenda of the next board meeting.

"Sneider and [parliamentary group leader] Márton Gyöngyösi seem to be intent on forging that alliance," he said. "I, however, do not want to be on the payroll of [LMP's] Péter Ungár and Mária Schmidt, just like I refused to be on [media magnate] Lajos Simicska's. I'm a politician of nationalist persuasion ... I'm not a whore."

Jobbik's parliamentary group convened an extraordinary meeting after which Péter Jakab, one of the party's MPs, announced Volner's expulsion. Jakab said István Apáti and Erik Fülöp had decided to quit the parliamentary group over the expulsion.

Jakab said Jobbik's leadership had launched an ethics inquiry into Volner "over his actions in the past three months", adding that Volner's letter "was just the straw that broke the camel's back". He said the letter was "very hard to interpret as other than something that would affect Jobbik negatively, and whatever affects Jobbik negatively helps [ruling] Fidesz".

Jakab said Volner's letter contained "a lot of distortion and untruths". One was the claim that Jobbik was preparing to form an alliance with liberal-left parties, but there were no plans to work together with LMP on a national level.

He said Volner's expulsion was backed by 17 group members, with four against and three invalid votes.

Volner and the two other MPs will not return their mandates. Volner wrote in his Facebook post that when he had signed a declaration in 2011 giving the party's leadership the right to decide on the fate of his mandate, "Jobbik was still a party with a real national value system where the idea of a vacant seat being taken by a deputy who would be willing to explore forming an alliance with the left would have been unthinkable. But unfortunately that's no longer the case, so we are keeping our mandates and we will continue to use them to serve the national cause".


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