March 01, 2007

Tom Wise bought a car

UKIP MEP Tom WiseUKIP MEP Tom Wise bought a car with some of the money he dishonestly claimed in expenses.
The party has now withdrawn the whip from him pending the outcome of an investigation by the anti-fraud European Commission watchdog OLAF. The move has prompted a schism within the ranks of UKIP, however, with three of its nine remaining MEPs threatening to break away from the party.
Bulletin board speculation suggests that the three MEPs are Knapman and Nattrass, former leader and deputy leader, and ... er ... Wise himself.
Today, Farage offered no explanation of why UKIP’s own internal inquiry had failed to establish that Wise had bought himself a car with taxpayers’ money.
It was a cover up.
He said: “I don’t want to say anything that may be prejudicial to any case that may occur, at least not right now. Perhaps my judgment was generous before.”
But Farage is implicated. Not all the money went on the car.
In a further breach of EU rules, some of the money paid to Jenkins was for work unconnected to Wise.

Nigel Farage, UKIP’s leader, had agreed to help fund publication of Jenkins’ Eurosceptic book, Disappearing Britain, in return for a grateful mention inside the cover.

However, that money, which amounted to around £4,800, came from Wise’s account, irrespective of the fact that using taxpayers’ funds for such a purpose was a breach of EU rules.
Farage is part of the scandal.
Knapman, one of three UKIP MEPs who are threatening to quit the party over the decision to suspend Wise, said: “A number of UKIP MEPs are appalled at the prejudicial decision to suspend Tom Wise and will be meeting within the next few days to discuss the future of the group.”
Actually in the real world it is well established that suspension is a precaution and not a pre-judgement. Is Knapman saying this because he's stupid or because he's nasty? (Actually he's both.) The former leader is certainly being quick to be disloyal to his successor.

So the MEPs are not thinking of leaving in order to distance themselves from the dishonesty. No. They want to stand by their dishonest and stupid man.

You have to ask why. If Farage is implicated, are they implicated too?

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