Nigel Farage warns against 'illogical' move by Italian party to quit his group
Nigel Farage has warned it would be "completely illogical" for the Italian Five Star Movement to quit the European Parliament group he jointly leads.
The former Ukip leader suggested the populist party founded by former Italian comic Beppe Grillo should stay in the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group.
Mr Grillo has asked members to vote on whether to leave EFDD to join the liberal group ALDE.
Mr Farage, the co-president of EFDD, said: "I have been in contact with Beppe Grillo this morning and congratulated him on his increasingly tough stance on the euro and immigration issues.
"In political terms it would be completely illogical for Five Star to join the most Euro-fanatic group in the European Parliament.
"The ALDE group doesn't support referenda or the basic principle of direct democracy. ALDE are also the loudest voice for a EU army.
"I suspect if Five Star joins ALDE it's support will not last long."
A Ukip spokesman said: "Both Ukip and Five Star are free to choose to stay or quit a political relationship.
"While it's interesting that some Five Star MEPs adamantly wish to stay in the EFDD group, as adults we wish them all the best whatever they do."