Former European Parliament lawmaker Jozsef Szajer, who was Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s strongest voice in Brussels, on Wednesday resigned from the ruling Fidesz party as more details emerged of how he fled a gay sex party in the Belgian capital by clambering down a gutter.
The affair is an embarrassment to Orban, a right-wing nationalist whose party espouses its view of traditional Christian and family values, and has campaigned against the nation’s LGBT community.
Orban told Hungary’s Magyar Nemzet newspaper that Szajer’s actions were “indefensible.”
“He took the only appropriate decision when he apologized and resigned from his position as member of the European Parliament and left Fidesz,” Orban said.
Police in Belgium, where gay sex and marriage, as well as sex parties between consenting adults, are legal, broke up the party on Friday last week because it was breaking COVID-19 lockdown regulations.
“We don’t sit around drinking tea. People are here for sex,” party organizer David Manzheley said at his apartment in central Brussels.
Reuters had not been able to reach Szajer for comment.
Szajer was a founding member of Fidesz and an ally of Orban for more than 30 years.
In Brussels, he was the party’s leading force in the European Parliament and he had an instrumental role in rewriting Hungary’s constitution after Orban won an election in 2010.
He resigned from the European Parliament on Sunday, citing unspecified moral reasons. He said he regretted having broken Belgium’s lockdown regulations.
Manzheley said that 30 people were at the party last Friday, many fewer than the regular 100 or so. He did not know everyone there, but recognized Szajer subsequently, he said.
Guests at his parties would undress on arrival, some of them donning fetish gear, he said, showing a Reuters correspondent the flashing lights he puts up for his gatherings.
“We have Christmas coming. People are thirsty for meetings... It is absolutely normal that guys in the gay community are going to be searching for solutions to meet. Yes, he [Szajer] was present, like many other politicians from different countries.”
Manzheley said that he had not been charged and complained of rough treatment by police officers.
The incident has caused a scandal in Hungary and political analysts said it could have implications for Orban.
It comes at a sensitive time. Hungary, along with Poland, is in dispute with the EU over linking funds from its budget and recovery fund to the rule of law. The EU is investigating both governments for undermining the independence of their judiciaries and media.
The two nations are blocking about 1.8 trillion euros (US$2.2 trillion) of EU funds, including hundreds of billions due to be disbursed to help pull the bloc out of a double-dip recession caused by a second wave of COVID-19.
Orban has also clashed with the EU over his nation’s policy on refugees and migrants.
“The actions of our fellow deputy, Jozsef Szajer, are incompatible with the values of our political family,” the Magyar Nemzet quoted Orban as saying.
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