“Tory ‘sleazebuster’ channelled funds to own firm”

Today doesn’t bring happy news for Conservative MEP Giles Chichester who, as I blogged about before, has been facing questions over how he spent £500,000 of Parliamentary allowances.

As The Times says today:

Tory ‘sleazebuster’ channelled funds to own firm
The Conservative MEP charged by David Cameron with ensuring the probity of expenses claims admitted last night to breaking the rules by channelling thousands of pounds of allowances into a family company.

Giles Chichester paid more than £400,000 for office services to a company of which he was a director.

His admission caused alarm at Westminster by raising the spectre of sleaze for the Conservative Party just at it had reached a commanding lead in opinion polls over Labour.

It was especially embarrassing because Mr Chichester was put in charge of ensuring integrity in Tory MEP expenses after it was disclosed that the MP Derek Conway had paid his son more than £40,000 as a Commons researcher while he was a student at Newcastle University…

Chris Davis, the Liberal Democrat MEP, exposed a secret auditor’s report on expenses scams used by MEPs earlier this year.

He said: “It is astonishing the degree to which MEPs have grown out of touch with what would be regarded as normal standards of financial transparency now expected of British elected representatives. You would expect British MEPs to know right from wrong.”


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