Britain's Hill recalled for new EU hearing

Britain’s nominee to be the EU’s new financial services commissioner, Jonathan Hill, is to face a new round of questioning by European lawmakers next week after failing to convince them outright on Wednesday he should get the post, lawmakers and sources said.

Hill, the former head of Britain’s House of Lords and a member of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party, had delivered reassuring words in the European parliament during a three-hour confirmation hearing earlier Wednesday, but they appeared insufficient to win over the chamber.

He is now the first member of Jean-Claude Juncker’s incoming European Commission team to be recalled since the parliamentary interviews started on Monday.

“It will be a second chance,” a European source told AFP, adding that Hill’s first interview “lacked content”.

A letter would be sent by European Parliament President Martin Schulz on Thursday seeking further written answers, the source said.

Several European MPs also said on Twitter that Hill would be recalled.

“Hill does not get confirmation today. He will be invited to a new public exchange of views” with the economic affairs committee, Green euro-MP Sven Giegold wrote.

Liberal MEP Sylvie Goulard wrote that Hill appeared “committed to EU” but would be recalled “next Monday or Tuesday in order to have clarifications on key aspects of (the) portfolio”.

Hill had told the legislators that he would work for Europe and not for London, denying earlier accusations that as a former lobbyist he would be a stooge for London’s financial service industry.

But while his performance won praise for disarming members of the committee with humour, he was said to be light on detail on issues of financial regulation.