Vox unexpectedly hit by a double resignation

Vox unexpectedly hit by a double resignation

RESIGNATION: Vox politician Ivan Espinosa de los Monteros has given up his parliamentary seat in the national parliament Photo credit: CC/Vox Congreso

TO quote Lady Bracknell with shameless inaccuracy, “one Vox resignation may be regarded as a misfortune; two looks like carelessness.”

Vox spokesman Ivan Espinosa de los Monteros, re-elected on July 23, resigned his parliamentary seat on August 8. He was followed on August 10 by Juan Luis Steegmann.

The ultra-right party did less well than expected in last month’s election, but the loss of 19 seats could not be laid at Espinosa’s door as he had no hand in preparing the voting lists that the party prepared for each constituency.

Instead, these were put together by Vox vice-president Jorge Buxade who also excluded existing MPs Victor Sanchez del Real and Ruben Manso.  Like Espinosa, both had belonged to Vox since it was founded in 2013 and they were also his close collaborators.

Espinosa was relegated to a secondary role, overshadowed by Buxade who, incidentally, was not a candidate.  Nevertheless, and despite his lack of an economic background, Buxade accompanied Espinosa – who has a degree in Economics and Business Administration and a master’s in Business Management – when he presented Vox’s economic programme.

In a brief statement and without answering questions, the ex-spokesman said that he was leaving politics for personal reasons.

“My parents aren’t so young and my children aren’t yet grown up,” Espinosa said by way of explanation.

Thanking a long list of people and organisations including Vox’s president Santiago Abascal, he also expressed gratitude to Meritxell Batet, the Spanish parliament’s last Speaker who belongs to the PSOE socialist party.

He was proud to have represented the party’s voters and confirmed that he was still a Vox member.  Meanwhile, Espinosa’s wife, Rocio Monasterio, remains a regional MP representing the party in the Madrid Assembly.

Together with Espinosa’s unarguably valid motives, it was common knowledge that he was sidelined by the party’s ultra-Catholic wing, a manoeuvre which Vox’s president Santiago Abascal did nothing to remedy.

Insiders have referred to the growing rift between Espinosa and Abascal who, in the words of El Pais, is surrounded by what the newspaper described as “a nucleus of power linked to the Church’s most fundamentalist sectors.”

As well as Buxade, these include Ignacio Hoces, whose economic protectionism was at odds with Espinosa’s ultraliberal policies which were compared to those of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.

Had everything gone according to plan his parliamentary seat would automatically have gone to juan Luis Steegmann, a doctor and scientist who followed Espinosa on Madrid’s list of candidates.

The substitution did not go according to plan and Steegmann, a Vox MP in the national parliament since 2019, announced on August 10 that he was not taking up the seat.

“On July 24 the door to continue as an MP closed, which was why I resigned from Vox’s National Executive Committee,” Steegmann said.  “Now the door to parliament has opened again but I’m not going through it.”

The haematologist described Ivan Espinosa de los Monteros’ resignation as “sad and surprising” while expressing his “profound admiration” for the former Vox spokesman.

Vox’s vacant fifth seat now goes to the next in line, Carla Toscana.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.