BUDAPEST -- A Hungarian politician has quit the ruling Fidesz party amid continuing fallout from his attendance at what Belgian media said was a sex party in Brussels held in violation of coronavirus lockdown rules.
Jozsef Szajer's resignation on December 2 came one day after he admitted being present at the private party on November 27. He resigned as a member of the European Parliament on November 29.
"The actions of our fellow deputy...are incompatible with the values of our political family," Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said.
Szajer is a founding member of Fidesz, which Orban has used to pass increasingly authoritarian policies in Hungary. The party campaigns for conservative Christian values and rails against LGBT issues.
Szajer is also one of the co-authors of a controversial constitutional amendment in 2010 that defined marriage as being solely between a man and a woman.
Szajer, who is a close confidant of Orban, is married to Tunde Hando, a former president of the National Judiciary Office, who is now a Constitutional Court judge.
He was a member of the European Parliament for 16 years, and for the past 11 acted as chief whip and vice president of the European People's Party.
Belgian media have described the party attended by Szajer as a lockdown sex party that allegedly involved men only and included diplomats.
Belgian police, who detained about 20 people, said Szajer was seen "fleeing along a drainpipe” and that "narcotics were found in his backpack." Szajer was escorted to his home, where he identified himself by presenting his diplomatic passport, police said.
The 59-year-old Szajer issued his own statement saying he did not use drugs and that he had "no knowledge" of the narcotics found in his backpack.
In announcing his resignation as a European lawmaker on November 29, Szajer said that for some time "participating in the struggles of daily politics has been an increasing emotional burden for me."
Orban defended Szajer in his address.
"We will not forget nor repudiate his 30 years of work, but his deed is unacceptable and indefensible. Following this, he took the only appropriate decision when he apologized and resigned from his position as member of the European Parliament and left Fidesz," he said.