Cardiff nomination set to be voted through

The main political grouping in the European Parliament has backed the nomination of Kevin Cardiff to the European Court of Auditors.

The main political grouping in the European Parliament has backed the nomination of Kevin Cardiff to the European Court of Auditors.

The European People's Party ( EPP), of which Fine Gael is a member, has voted to back his nomination in a full plenary session of the Parliament which is to take place tomorrow.

Mr Cardiff, the outgoing Secretary General at the Department of Finance, is also expected to secure the support of the Socialists and Democrats in tomorrow's vote, meaning he is all but certain to have his nomination approved.

Mr Cardiff's nomination as Ireland's representative to the Court had generated controversy amid discussion of his role as the most senior official at the Department of Finance during the worst years of the economic crisis.

Last month the Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control voted 12-11 against his nomination, after which the Government insisted he remained the best candidate for the job.

Mr Cardiff was interviewed before the Committee where he answered for his involvement in the €440bn bank guarantee scheme and the recently admitted a €3.6bn accounting error at the Department.

Mr Cardiff was the only one of eight nominees from across Europe not to make it through the interview process.

Should Mr Cardiff receive the backing of a majority of MEPs tomorrow it will be the first time that the parliament has gone against the recommendation of one of its own committees.

However his place on the Court is not yet secured even in that instances, as reports suggest he may be obliged to appear before the committee for a second time.

It was also revealed that the outgoing Irish representative on the Court, Eoin O’Shea, wrote an email to members of the Committee that was critical of Mr Cardiff.

In the email he highlighted how Mr Cardiff had been in a senior position at the time of the banking collapse in Ireland.

He also highlighted the €7bn transactions between Anglo and Irish Life and Permanent to hide transactions in Anglo accounts.

Mr O’Shea said he sent the email in a “moment of madness” after finding out he would not be nominated to stay in his job, and subsequently said he had changed his position having met with Mr Cardiff.

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