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MEPs unite to take on Juncker’s ‘monster’

Praise: Mr Selmayr and Mr Juncker

MEPs have criticised the appointment of a man known as ‘the monster’ to be the European Commission’s top civil servant.

Critics dislike the alleged ‘take no prisoners’ ruthlessness of new secretary general Martin Selmayr, a former chief of staff of commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

But Mr Juncker has praised his German protégé for his political skill. He reportedly dubbed him the ‘monster’ for his attention to detail and punishing work ethic.

Last night, however, MEPs questioned whether the 47-year-old had been given a ‘smooth path’ to the top job due to the pair’s friendship — a claim strongly denied by officials.

One EU source told the Daily Telegraph that opposition to Mr Selmayr’s appointment had united some unlikely bedfellows. ‘This is the first time [European Parliament Brexit co-ordinator] Guy Verhofstadt and [ex Ukip leader] Nigel Farage have agreed on anything,’ the source said.

Dutch MEP Sophie in ’t Veld was among those calling for the appointment to be reversed during a debate last night.

She said it raised ‘grave doubts about integrity, transparency and judgment of the European Commission’.