A right-wing Hungarian MEP has apologised after Belgian police caught him at a lockdown-busting party - that local press described as an orgy.
Jozsef Szajer resigned over the weekend for what he said were "personal reasons", but admitted today that he had received a police caution.
Brussels prosecutors told AFP that 20 men were caught at a city centre party on Friday and fined €250 each. Local press called it a "sex party".
Mr Szajer, 59, made no reference to sexual activity and denied taking drugs, but he apologised to his family for breaking Covid-19 restrictions.
"I was present," he said in a statement distributed by his conservative political group.
"After the police asked for my identity – since I did not have ID on me – I declared that I was a MEP.
"The police continued the process and finally issued an official verbal warning and transported me home.
"I deeply regret violating the Covid restrictions, it was irresponsible on my part. I am ready to stand for the fine that occurs," he said.
Mr Szajer has been elected four times to the Hungarian parliament between 1990 and 2002, and four times to the European Parliament since 2004.
On Saturday, Mr Szajer resigned as an MEP effective 31 December, but said it "has nothing to do with the current, animated policy debate taking place on the European level".
Tensions between Hungary and Brussels are at a high over its veto along with Poland of the bloc's long-term budget and coronavirus recovery fund.
Mr Szajer insisted: "The misstep is strictly personal, I am the only who owes responsibility for it. I ask everyone not to extend it to my homeland, or to my political community. "