Labour MEPs have condemned today's formation of a far-right Group in the European Parliament, made possible by the defection of a former UKIP MEP.
Until now, Marine Le Pen's Front National have not been able to create a political group, but with Janice Atkinson - elected as a UKIP MEP last year - joining them they reach the threshold of having MEPs from seven different countries, required to form a group.
The creation of a group means that they can get access to more than €17 million over the next four years, and places on parliamentary committees.
Glenis Willmott MEP, Labour's leader in the European Parliament, said:
"This is a dark day for Europe. Extremists from across the EU have laced up their boots and marched into an alliance, securing funding and power.
"Only last week UKIP MEPs stood up in defence of Front National to block amendments calling for greater transparency in regards to party funding - and now their former MEP Janice Atkinson sits shoulder-to-shoulder with Le Pen and her axis of hate."
The parties making up the new Europe of Nations and Freedoms Group are: Front National (France, 20 MEPs); Lega Nord (Italy, 5 MEPs); Freedom Party of Austria (Austria, 5 MEPs); Party for Freedom (Netherlands, 3 MEPs); Congress of the New Right (Poland, 2 MEPs); Vlaams Belang (Belgium, 1 MEP); and Janice Atkinson MEP (UK, ex-UKIP).