The MEP had been a party member for 43 years and represented the Conservatives in the European Parliament for 25 years from 1984-2009. But he was stripped of the Tory whip last year, sitting as an Independent, and later expelled from the party after his fellow MEPs voted him Vice-President of the European Parliament, when McMillan-Scott stood against Michal Kaminski, the Polish Law and Justice politician.
McMillan-Scott challenged Kaminski for the Parliament's Vice-Presidency after he had warned David Cameron about Kaminski's extremist past. However, Kaminski's defeat in the EP vote led to Tory Timothy Kirkhope standing aside so that Kaminski could instead become the controversial leader of the Tories' new European parliamentary grouping.
McMillan-Scott said he felt "no shame" in losing the whip on a point of principle, but believes that his expulsion from the party for the same thing "disproportionate and against natural justice."
He noted that his treatment went beyond that of any Conservative MP involved in the Westminster expenses scandal, and that the five year ban contrasts with the two year expulsion of Den Dover, the former Tory MEP who was expelled for two years in 2008 when he refused to pay back "unduly" claimed expenses payments worth over £538,000.
The Telegraph reports his comments today:
"This is not about me: it is about the values of the next British government ... In the context of the Westminster expenses scandal, for which no Conservative was expelled, this will be seen by many as a serious case of double standards. The party seeks to prevent my candidacy in the next European election merely for taking a stand on matters of personal conscience. This raises very serious ethical, legal and political issues," he said.
McMillan-Scott has opposed the party's Eurosceptic policy, and its decision to leave the main centre-right alliance in the European Party which contains the German Christian Democrats and French Gaullists. But he has also argued that there is a "double standard" in the Conservative failure to take any similar action against MEPs Daniel Hannan and Roger Helmer, noting that they also actively oppose party policy on Europe by campaigning for British withdrawal from the European Union as members of the 'Better Off Out' group.
McMillan-Scott has described Hannan as "Dog-whistle Dan".
The Independent reports that McMillan-Scott's strong commitment to challenging European fascism was in part informed by his maternal grandparents having been members of Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists, who were interned by the Churchill coalition government during world war two.
"I stood against Kaminski because he represented the rise of disguised extremism at a key moment in European politics - the start of a new European Parliament which saw gains by the far right in 13 out of 27 EU countries, including the BNP in Britain."
Most Conservatives have defended the decision to partner the populist and authoritarian Law and Justice Party in the European Parliament.
But criticism of Law and Justice's populist and xenophobic authoritarianism is not confined to the left. A Daily Telegraph editorial argued that the party's heavy defeat in the Polish General Election in October 2007 were the result of "their willingness to pander to xenophobia, their use of state institutions to persecute political opponents and their diplomatic ineptitude repelled many younger voters", with 80 per cent of young Polish voters telling pollsters they felt "ashamed" of the Law and Justice government.
Donald Tusk's liberal centre-right Civic Forum party now governs Poland, though Law and Justice retain the Presidency ahead of Presidential elections this year.