MEP sex scandal

Conservative Hungarian MEP resigns after being caught attending a gay sex party violating lockdown rules

Photo by EPP Group on Flickr.

— 3 minute read — By Camilla Foster

Jozef Szajer, 59, a senior member of the ruling Fidesz party in Hungary was stopped by police after attempting to escape a sex party in Brussels. He was one of the 20 predominately male attendees, which included at least two other EU diplomats who both tried to invoke polictial immunity when found. 

The MEP allegedly tried to escape, from what the Belgian media has depicted as a ‘gay orgy’, by climbing out of the window of the first-floor apartment in order to keep his political status and conservative integrity intact, but was spotted by a bystander. He was found with a bleeding hand, an injury suspected to have been an consequence of his hasty getaway, and ecstasy pills which he claimed he had no knowledge of.

Brussels is currently under a 10pm to 6am curfew, with all bars and restaurants ordered to shut until mid-January, so this gathering that occurred on Rue des Pierres on the evening of 27th November clearly breached lockdown rules. Attendees faced a £224 fine each. 

Szajer’s parliamentary immunity plea was rejected and he was put under investigation for non-compliance with COVID- 19 measures and violation of drug laws. The European Parliament has stated the immunity rule covers exclusively politicians’ official duties, not their private lives. 

He handed in his resignation the following Sunday, acknowledging his attendance to the party, but was reluctant to comment on its nature and fiercely denies any allegations of drug possession. In a final statement Szajer apologized for breaking Belgian rules limiting social gatherings, and wrote: “it was irresponsible on my part and I will suffer the penalties.

This transgression is particularly scandalous due to what has been described as ‘the socially and fiscally conservative’ nature of the Fidesz party, which is notorious for its anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and frequent campaigns promoting traditional family values, having recently proposed a law to ban gay adoption.

This scandal has branded Szájer as hypocritical and many are criticizing the senior member of the Fidesz party for enjoying the freedoms of the LGBTQ+ community in Brussels while his party are condemning and illegitamising it in his homeland.

Szajer, a key founder of Fidesz party, has been an MEP for the past 16 years and is a close confidant of the Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban. Orban is a renowned critic of liberal political culture of Western Europe and vocally promotes what he calls an “illiberal” Christian democracy. 

Hungary’s 2011 constitution was composed on an iPad belonging to Josef Szajer himself, and he was a fundamental figure in its construction. Within its content, it states marriage is only between a man and a woman, implying same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, which has since been a subject of controversy. Critics claim the constitution was created without enough sufficient input from oppositional viewpoints or society as whole, thus solely reflects the ideology of the ruling Fidesz party, which is rooted in a conservative Christian viewpoint that Hungary as a country that does not wholly align with.

This incident is just the latest incident in a series of scandals involving members of Hungary’s ruling party. In July, Fidez member Gabor Kaleta was condemned to a one-year prison suspended sentence by a Budapest court and fined for possessing approximately 19,000 sexually explicit images of minors. Additionally, in 2019 a video of Fidesz politician Zsolt Borkai participating in an orgy on a yacht in the Adriatic Sea was leaked. These misdemeanours go further than damaging the respectability of the individual politicians involved, also putting into question the integrity and authority of the party itself.