The main political grouping in the European Parliament has just voted to support the nomination of Kevin Cardiff to the European Court of Auditors.

The support of the European Peoples' Party (EPP) is almost certain to ensure that Mr Cardiff will be approved by the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg tommorow.

It follows the decision of the Socialist Group the PES last week also to support Mr Cardiff's nomination.

The decision of both main blocks to support Mr Cardiff is certain to clear the way for the plenary to approve his nomination.

It will mean the plenary will have taken the unprecedented step of overturning a vote by one of the parliament's own committees.

Three weeks ago Mr Cardiff's nomination was rejected by 12-11 by the Budgetary Control Committee.

The vote was shrouded in controversy when it emerged that the incumbent member from Ireland on the court, Eoin O'Shea, had lobbied a number of committee members against Mr Cardiff's nomination.