« Andy Coulson coordinates summer media offensive | Main | Giles Chichester to resign as Leader of Tory MEPs »


"We have been told that every MEP who is accused of impropriety will have the full opportunity to account for themselves."

Let's hope their excuses are thoroughly analysed. We don't want them getting off due to some mealy-mouthed response.

We rightly removed the whip from Conway so we should act quickly to remove the whip from MEPs who will not disclose expenses or whose use of expenses is similar to Conway. Technically although these people stood as Conservatives they, with the Honourable exceptions of Roger Helmer & Daniel Hannan, sit as members of the EPP rather than Conservatives so how do we remove a whip they do not have ? Do not forget Roger was expelled from the EPP for asking financial questions and Daniel was expelled from the EPP for the crime of exercising free speech - not a European virtue !

If we do not act now the voters will reward UKIP next year - UKIP have removed the whip from one of their MEPs following quetions over expenses. If they can deal with their MEPs why cannot we deal with our MEPs ?

I'm not a Tory voter.

Do this right and I might be.

Sounds encouraging.

Firm action will lay down a gauntlet to the other party leaders.

Oh come off it Nigel Syson @13.29:

"UKIP have removed the whip from one of their MEPs following quetions over expenses. If they can deal with their MEPs why cannot we deal with our MEPs?"

UKIP MEP Ashley Mote served a prison sentence for benefit fraud.

UKIP MEP Tom Wise has had the UKIP whip withdrawn and restored more times than the hokey-cokey despite never having properly explained the £36,000 he syphoned off and despite UKIP brushing their own internal investigation under the carpet. And he is still happily in the IND-DEM Group with UKIP as far as I know.

And that's before you even start to worry about the vitriolic slagging matches that go on between UKIP MEPs and their Party's NEC. Or the various staff tribunals that UKIP MEPs have ended up being taken to by their employees.

And then there's Kilroy of course - that glorious episode really showed how can UKIP can "deal" with its MEPs didn't it?

And while I'm on about it, may as well mention Roger Knapman campaigning against Polish immigrants but then employing them to do up his house. What happened to him??

Whatever complaints you might have about Tory MEPs, pur-lease don't insult us all by holding up UKIP as paragons of virtue...

to be fair Percy,they would vote themselves out of a job which is more than we can say for most Tory MEPs

Den Dover has apparently been employing his wife and daughter and spending public money on items relating to his house?

So what? This is pretty much what plenty of MPs do. Are we to see MPs treated as harshly? I do hope so.

I seem to remember the Wintertons (sorry to single them out) are using public money to pay rent on a property they owned outright with no mortgage but then gifted to their children.

Sensible IHT planning but a scandalous abuse of expenses. Why haven't they been dumped? And the others who do much the same?


But what's that got to do with it [email protected]? This is about ethical standards, not policy. Are you arguing that because UKIP wants to withdraw from the EU, their MEPs are automatically exonnerated from behaving like expenses-trousering hypocrites?

Having gone through a good selection process for West Country MEP candidates, I was disappointed that Mr Chichester did not attend, so we were unable to quiz him. I was very impressed with the standard of all the other candidates so if Mr Chichester does not stand there will still be a full quota of very electable candidates who seem to have a good grasp of the real problems of the EU.

Good for DC, no mercy, if they,ve been cheating then its zero tolerance, sacked from the Tory party and a P45 from their job as MEP.
Plus if it means some of the others decide to quit, the ones still in the EEP then thats good plus, it might make the other prospective MEP,s like the ones who gave copy and paste answers to Conhomes survey or who gave no answers second thoughts about standing, thus opening up the selection again to a more democratic process

This all proves that its long overdue time to be out of that expensive EU racket as it appears most MEP,s from the UK turn native when they get to Brussels even the Tory ones apart from a few brave souls like Dan H and Rodger H.

Finally, I thought DC had ordered all MEP and MP,s pay and expenses to be published on the internet,, like Nadin Dorries,, when can we expect to see this?

Encouraging news. However given that Brussels is such a sleaze ridden cesspit. This matter is an increasing embarrassment to the Party. Perhaps there is a need for a more proactive clean-up.

I would like to see a full investigation put in place to get to the bottom of this issue. A committee should be set up to investigate MEP's financial affairs (chaired by someone like Lord Tebbit would do nicely).

Any MEP who refused to provide full disclosure of their financial affairs should be thrown out. Any malfeasants should be dealt as appropriate. Serious offenders must be thrown out.

As for MEP selection, given the sleaze already apparent no MEP should be given preference over other candidates and elections must be fully transparent and open.

All this said just a note for the MEP's who have fully disclosed their affairs. They should be congratulated for their honesty and openness.

"Whatever complaints you might have about Tory MEPs, pur-lease don't insult us all by holding up UKIP as paragons of virtue."
..Hmmmm..how about pots...kettles...embezzlement is embezzlement no matter which hat the embezzler wears...some prison time for these offenders would be good for taxpayer moral

Excellent news.
Innocent until proved guilty.... but serious retribution for those who are caught in the act.

On Conservative Home I have commented on the unpleasantness of dealing with Mr Chichester. I take this opportunity to reiterate; I am not at all surprised by the cause of his troubles.

Fantastic news. Exactly what the Conservative party should be doing.

This sounds like good news. Let us hope that David Cameron will follow through on this pledge - if so, full marks.

Very pleased if this is all dealt with quickly! As I have said previously, lance the boil (sorry if anyone is eating their lunch at this point!) and then move on...

Looking forward to your report on the "saga of MEP selection" meeting with Ms Spelman. I very much hope members will get a vote on 'candidate ranking', or whatever the correct term is, rather than sitting MEPs automatically getting top spots.

Lucky this is being done this year not next or else we would be stuck with them for 5 more years.

I certainly won't be shedding any tears over a personality involved here.

Giles Chichester is apparently to resign at 4pm. Well done DC. There is no space for people who break the rules, especially in the light of all the controversy surrounding MPs' expenses.

Well, if we had been given an "open" vote on MEP selection in the first place, I suspect many of the people involved in this affair would have been deselected. I wonder whether Mr Cameron is beginning to regret imposing this system on us...

I'm watching closely to see what happens here. Blair was famous for his 'whiter than white' speech, but look at what Labour get up to now.

Old Holborn @ 13:35 - that's an excellent summary. Same for me.

For once -'Good on ya Dave'

Percy - after 30 years of campaigning for the Tories I am well aware UKIP are a shower. What I do expect is that if people stand as Tories they sit as Tories,and that their motivation is to serve their country and not generate problems for us over expenses.

If Giles Chichester should now decide to walk out of the tent, might I suggest that he be replaced with a candidate who would know and understand the problems and concerns of the agricultural, rural and farming community, and, preferably, have her or his base in either Cornwall or Devon.
Bet a lot more people are now wishing that we, the Party members, had been given the opportunity to assess the ability and achievements of sitting MEPs rather than having them nodded through and put at the top of the list.

You heard about the Tory MEP who filled his boots and nobody even noticed? Well, try the "Mail" listing Mr "Oops-a-daisy" Chichester's recent engagements:

"Globetrotting Mr Chichester last year led a nine-day trip Down Under as part of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Australia and New Zealand.

"The MEPs spent just 18 hours on official business, including attending a session of Canberra's House of Representatives.

"But they managed to fit in a trip to watch the sun rise over the must-see tourist destination Uluru - formerly known as Ayers Rock - and the breath-taking rock formations and gorge at Kata Tjuta.

"They also enjoyed a cruise on a yacht, watched 'La Traviata' at world-famous Sydney Opera House and touring some of Australia's renowned vineyards.

"According to Mr Chichester's declaration of interests, he has made at least 26 trips overseas in his role as Tory spokesman on the European Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy Committee - including an energy conference in sun-kissed Dubai.

"But not only are his flights and luxury hotel rooms paid for, he has also managed to squeeze in time for culture.

"On one occasion in 2004, he visited France's national control centre for electric transport in St Denis, Paris, and managed to wheedle tickets for the historic Bastille Opera for himself and his wife, Virginia.

"Mr Chichester has managed to get seats at a host of sell-out sporting events through his links as an MEP.

"In February this year he attended the England v Wales Six Nations clash as guest of the Rugby Football Union and in November 2002 he was invited by Imperial Tobacco to watch the England v South Africa match at Twickenham.

"In 2002 and 2004, he and his wife watched the men's tennis final at Wimbledon as guests of Imperial Tobacco - as thousands of fans failed in their attempts to get tickets.

"In May last year, he watched the prestigious America's Cup yacht races staged off the coast of Valencia, Spain, as guest of Areva, the French energy company.

"And in September 2004 he was in the audience for an Elton John concert in the shadow of the stunning Rock of Gibraltar to mark the British territory's national day."

I'd like to say, "Nice work if you can get it", but some how the word "work" seems inappropriate here. And this was the Stainless Stephen chosen, apparently personally by the Tory Leader, as official "sleaze-buster"?

Digger - UKIP are members of an EU grouping that does not believe in withdrawal from the EU. Work that one out.

"And this was the Stainless Stephen chosen, apparently personally by the Tory Leader, as official "sleaze-buster"?"

I don't think he was "personally chosen" by David Cameron - whoever was leader of the Group at the time would have been the person given the job - and Chichester only won the job by one vote!

I dont think that any national political party has the power to force the resignation, from the European Parliament, of any MEP. They can, of course, withdraw the Party Whip, which would mean that the MEP could no longer sit with the Party's Group (in this case the EPP) but that MEP would still be able to sit with an unaligned group. They could also de-select him or her from their list of candidates at the next European Parliament elections.

Consequently Cameron's current options are limited, particularly if a disgruntled ex party MEP sides with the Europhiliacs in an attempt to embarrass some of his former colleagues.
This makes it even more important that the Conservative MEP candidate selection procedure is radically altered immediately, so as to make it both more democratic and more representative of the wishes of the (predominantly eurosceptic) majority of the party.

The comments to this entry are closed.



ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker