In Rome, a mural of Szájer has appeared, provocatively toasting him as Hungary’s “new gay icon”, apparently the work of the Italian street artist Laika. “I want a world where even Szájer can be free to live his sexuality the way he believes, without hiding from the eyes of his own party,” the artist wrote on Instagram.
For Orbán’s government, the episode has been no laughing matter, and came as the Hungarian prime minister threatens to veto the EU budget over plans to link some funds to a so-called rule-of-law mechanism.
Szájer admitted to attending “a house party” and apologised to his family, though he claimed the drugs had been planted on him. He has quit his job as an MEP and left Fidesz. Orbán said Szájer’s actions were “unacceptable and indefensible”.