THE Tories have been accused of sacrificing the rights of Muslims and Jews in a bid to gain support for Brexit, after they were the only party of government in the European Parliament to offer support to Hungary’s hard-right administration.

On Wednesday MEPs voted 448–197 to censure Viktor Orban’s regime in Budapest and to start proceedings which could ultimately result in the former Soviet bloc country being kicked out of the EU.

The sole Scottish Tory MEP, Nosheen Mobarik, did not vote with the rest of her party, and backed the report written by a Dutch Green MEP accusing Hungary of threatening the rule of law by hampering press and academic freedoms, cracking down on funding for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and denying rights to minorities and migrants.

The only Scottish MEP who came out in support of Orban was Ukip’s David Coburn.

While elections are free in Hungary, observers have noted that they are not very fair. The government controls the media and the opposition are not allowed a fair hearing.

Orban’s party, Fidesz, has even been accused of creating bogus opposition parties to split the vote.

There was, the MEPs agreed, a “clear risk of serious breach” of European values.

Orban’s greatest enemy, however, is George Soros, a Hungarian born, American Jewish billionaire, who runs a number of liberal NGOs.

During the migrant crisis in 2015, when a million displaced people moved into Europe, Soros called for migrants to Hungary to be treated humanely.

Earlier this year, Orban, who has campaigned on an anti-immigration platform, passed the “Stop-Soros” law, making it harder for organisations in Hungary to offer assistance to migrants.

NGOs helping people seek asylum when they are not entitled to it could face jail time.

Soros became his bogeyman during the 2018 election campaign, with Orban using barely concealed anti-Semitic tropes and terms,

Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell said: “Is Theresa May going to call out those Tory MEPs, who were whipped to vote to support Viktor Orban against a censure motion for his attacks on refugees and his anti-Semitism and Islamophobia?

“If not, I wouldn’t advise her to lecture anyone on racism again.”

Marie van der Zyl, the president of the board of deputies of British Jews, said she was disappointed in the Tories: “I note with disappointment that Conservative Party MEPs have voted in defence of Hungary’s populist right-wing government of Viktor Orban.

“As we have stated previously, we are very alarmed by the message at the heart of Orban’s election campaign, including his comments about ‘Muslim invaders’, calling migrants ‘poison’, and the vivid anti-Semitism in the relentless campaign against Jewish philanthropist George Soros.

“The whipping up of prejudice by the Hungarian government – alongside restrictions on press freedom and the independence of the judiciary – must be stopped before it undermines Hungary’s democracy irreversibly.

“It is very concerning that Conservative Party MEPs chose to defend Hungary’s appalling track record, rather than supporting a motion to protect the rule of law.”

The Muslim Council of Britain agreed, saying they were worried the rights of minorities were being exchanged for Brexit support.

The council’s secretary general Harun Khan said: “At a time when there are growing concerns about the rise of the far-right across Europe, it is deeply disappointing that Conservative Party MEPs were whipped to align themselves with far-right parties in supporting Mr Orban.

“One can only hope that the rights of Muslims and other minorities are not considered expendable as support is sought for the government’s Brexit position.”