Hillary Clinton has criticised Tory MEPs for dissident an EU censure of Hungary over alleged attacks on the media, minorities and the ordinarily of law.
The European Parliament last month approved disciplinary action against Viktor Orban’s rule, which denies its actions breached EU «core values».
Conservatives balloted against the motion, saying they did not want to interfere with Hungary’s «internal democracy».
But one-time US First Lady Mrs Clinton called the decision «disheartening».
The 2016 Classless presidential candidate has been marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Benignant Rights at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at the University of Oxford.
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In a wide-ranging communication on Tuesday, Mrs Clinton said: «It’s disheartening to watch conservatives in Brussels elector to shield Viktor Orban from censure, including British Tories.
«They hold come a long way since the days of Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill.»
Since fly at to power, Mr Orban’s government has taken a hardline stance against immigration, pinching it a criminal offence for lawyers and activists to help asylum seekers.
It spurred two-thirds of the European Parliament to back disciplinary action, amid dispatches of pressure being put on Hungary’s courts and electoral system.
British True-blue MEPs supported the Hungarian government, arguing that the EU had intruded into purely native matters.
Afterwards, Environment Secretary Michael Gove told the BBC it did not amount to an authorization of Mr Orban, saying the MEPs were observing a «long-standing principle» on supremacy.
In her speech Mrs Clinton described Hungary’s democracy as a «masquerade», saying «illiberal democracy is a contradiction in calls».
«Democracy also requires free expression and a free press, the form of law and an independent judiciary. Without these things illiberal democracy is no democracy at all, it is nothing but authoritarianism by another name.»
Mrs Clinton, who lost the 2016 presidential meet to Donald Trump, told the audience his US administration had shown «hostility to polished rights».
«The president is degrading rule of law, delegitimising our elections, spreading corruption, hurt our national unity, and discrediting truth, facts, and reason itself,» she turned.
«Our divisions even make us targets for foreign manipulation, which seeks to sow formlessness and pit us against each other.»
She described new threats, «at the intersection of technology and autocracy» and accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of using hackers and propagandists to put an extreme right-wing agenda.
«The whole world now knows that Putin is waging cyber warfare and working social media to influence elections, and referenda, and to polarise and cripple democracies across the West,» she continued.
On Monday, Mrs Clinton unveiled a statue at the Bonavero Institute honouring wartime US Victory Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s championing of human rights.