Belgium has had some of the toughest coronavirus restrictions in Europe during the second wave of the pandemic, with hospitality venues closed and socialising severely restricted. So Mr Steerpike was surprised to note this interesting story in the Belgian press today, which suggested that some may not be following the rules as closely as expected.
According to La Dernière Heure, 25 men were arrested this weekend after their lockdown festivities were interrupted by the police. The paper writes:
“‘Twenty-five men in their birthday suits were interrupted in the middle of a gang bang on Friday evening in Brussels, close to the central police station of the capital’.
Even more intriguingly, the DH reports that:
“‘One of the revellers tried to escape through a window. It ended badly: he found himself in a difficult position, injured himself, and was greeted by another police team who arrived as reinforcements. The fugitive was not an ordinary member of the public. It was indeed a political figure, a foreign MEP…Among the other participants in the lockdown orgy were foreign diplomats, we learned from another source close to the case.’
Allegedly the MEP in question invoked his right to parliamentary immunity, which led to the involvement of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All members of the party were reportedly arrested but released after they paid a fine.
Still, one question remains unanswered: who was the mystery European politician who fell foul of the law?
Update: the Hungarian MEP and Orbán ally, József Szájer, has resigned and apologised after confirming he attended the party. The MEP released a statement saying:
'A newspaper ran in the Belgian press today about a house party in Brussels on Friday that I was attending. After the police certificate, I indicated that I was a representative because I did not have a card, the police conducted the procedure, was given a verbal warning and then taken home.'
In the past, Szájer claimed to have drafted changes to the Hungarian constitution that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman.