Former MEP, Nikki Sinclaire, was yesterday charged with Misconduct In Public Office and Money Laundering following a 29 month investigation into alleged expenses fraud by West Midlands Police.
Miss Sinclaire was arrested on the 22nd February 2012. The Daily Mail coverage from 2012 states the arrest took place following accusations by a whistleblower.
The article states that Sinclaire claimed nearly £840 for driving 1,200 miles between her Birmingham home and the European Parliament in Strasbourg, when she had allegedly travelled by plane, which can cost as little as £260. Miss Sinclaire has a different take on the matter on her blog.
The sparse details in the Daily Mail bear a remarkable resemblance to the controversy sparked by former Conservative MEP and current Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Robert Goodwill MP. Goodwill is quoted in The Guardian:
“I fly from Leeds/Bradford to Brussels and we get a set fee of around £500, but if I buy a cheaper ticket, economy class for about £160 and £250, I can pocket the difference.”
“And, as a capitalist, also as a British Conservative, I see it as a challenge to buy cheap tickets and make some profit on the system because that is the system.”
The Conservative Party apparently condemned Goodwill’s actions:
“the party does not endorse the fiddling of expenses or the impression given that the system should be made available for personal profit”.
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