Cameron Faces Challenge over Relationship with Europe; POLITICS

Article excerpt

David Cameron was challenged yesterday to commit himself to renegotiating Britain's relationship with the EU or face a campaign against the party in next year's European elections by one of the biggest Conservative donors.

Spread betting tycoon Stuart Wheeler called on Mr Cameron to make two key pledges on the EU's Lisbon Treaty in the Conservative manifesto for the June 2009 poll. If he does not, Mr Wheeler will urge voters to turn their backs on the Conservatives in the Euro-elections.

Mr Cameron has promised a referendum on the Treaty if it has not yet been ratified by all 27 EU member-states by the time Tories win power, and has indicated that he will not "let the matter rest" if it becomes law before he takes office.

But Mr Wheeler suspects that the Tories are putting Europe "on the back-burner" and will not make it a priority if they win power unless they are put under pressure to do so. …