Kenneth Clarke, a highly-placed member of Great Britain’s Conservative Party as well as that party’s shadow finance minister, has criticised Czech President Václav Klaus over his reasoning on the Lisbon treaty. In the Sunday edition of The Times Mr Clarke said that the president’s assessment that the treaty could lead to property restitution claims by ethnic Germans - expelled from Czech soil after World War II - were “the most ridiculous he had heard”. Václav Klaus has demanded an exemption for the Czech Republic from the Charter of Fundamental Rights to address such concerns. Mr Klaus’s critics charge that the president, a strong opponent of “Lisbon”, has simply sought to delay ratification for as long as possible. In the past, the Conservative Party's head David Cameron said he would call a referendum on the Lisbon treaty if the issue had not been resolved by next year.