Ben Habib was speaking after Mrs von der Leyen used her address to tout the bloc’s approach, insisting: “We did it the right way, because we did it the European way. And it worked!” Mrs von der Leyen crowed about the fact that more than 70 percent of European adults are now vaccinated against Covid – although the overall total for all citizens (60.53 percent) is still lower than that of the UK (64.67 percent).
Mr Habib did not hold back in a caustic assessment of the EU chief’s performance.
He told Express.co.uk: “Absolutely everything about Ursula von der Leyen is wrong.
“From her rigged election to the highest office in Europe, to her inflated sense of the EU’s (and her) importance.
“Her self-styled State of the Union address – yes, that is the title she chose – is a masterclass in vacuous false aggrandisement.”
Mr Habib suggested the European Union’s publicity machine had “taken over where Pravda left off for the USSR”.
He explained: “Their methods are the same. Keep putting out positive messages and relentlessly repeat them even if they have no basis in the truth.
“They rarely do. And then ice the cake with a load of virtue signalling gibberish.”
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Turning to Mrs von der Leyen’s vaccine rollout boasts, Mr Habib sought to remind her of the bloc’s notoriously slow start, which saw it lag well behind the UK for months at the start of the year.
He said: “The biggest joke today were her claims about the EU’s vaccine programme.
“We all know it was a failure (ask AstraZeneca) but the gloss she put on it took falsity to new levels.
“She claimed the EU did not delay – they were miles behind the UK, while they rubbished perfectly effective vaccines which, by the way, they also wanted to block from reaching us.”
Mr Habib added: “She claimed member states pulled together. Err, no!
“She must have forgotten that one of the pillars of the EU, freedom of movement, went straight out of the window when the pandemic kicked off – despite her admonitions.”
Poorer countries had to wait for months while the ECB, Germany, Netherlands and others discussed their coronavirus rescue finance package, Mr Habib pointed out.
He said: “Once settled the money was still not dispensed because they preferred to waste time bashing Poland over the head for meddling in its judiciary.
“Yes, the EU, with its entirely political supreme court believed itself to have the moral high ground to tell democratically elected governments how to behave.
“Until that bashing was complete they refused to release cash to any member state. Always the Project over and above and to the detriment of member states – that is the real EU.”
Mr Habib concluded: “You would get more intellectual nourishment from watching reruns of Coronation Street than you would from listening to her drivel.”
During yesterday’s speech, Ms von der Leyen said: “When I stood in front of you 12 months ago, I did not know when – or even if – we would have a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19.
“But today, and against all critics, Europe is among the world leaders.”
She added: “More than 70 per cent of adults in the EU are fully vaccinated. We were the only ones to share half of our vaccine production with the rest of the world.
“We delivered more than 700 million doses to the European people, and we delivered more than another 700 million doses to the rest of the world, to more than 130 countries.
“We are the only region in the world to achieve that.”