TOM WISE: Fenland UKIP chairman disowns him, and party confirms his suspension after News of World s

PUBLISHED: 19:05 12 May 2008 | UPDATED: 08:27 02 June 2010

A EURO MP – who visited the Fens just a fortnight ago – has been exposed bragging about cashing in on British taxpayers money on allowance and travel claims. Tom Wise made the shocking revelations during a two month investigation by the News of the World

A EURO MP - who visited the Fens just a fortnight ago - has been exposed bragging about cashing in on British taxpayers money on allowance and travel claims.

Tom Wise made the shocking revelations during a two month investigation by the News of the World about the goings on within the European Parliament.

The MEP - who recently attended a St George's Day even at the Three Tuns pub in Doddington - said his job is "the opportunity to make shed loads of money.'

Len Baynes, chairman of UKIP's Fenland Branch, has 'emphatically apologised' in a letter penned to the Cambs Times about Tom Wise's behaviour.

"I must hold my hands up and publicly admit I was wrong [about Tom Wise]," he said.

"For over a decade I have looked on Tom Wise (MEP) as a close personal friend of mine, whose corner I have argued constantly and consistently, against my own party's NEC and against my own party's leadership.

"I have been proved wrong and to those people I most emphatically apologise and on behalf of UKIP and to the public in general I most emphatically apologise."

Mr Wise represents Cambridgeshire and is one of seven European Parliament members from the East of England.

In undercover footage, Mr Wise also said he has 'no idea what an MEP should or shouldn't do' about his 'cushy' £60,000 salary.

He told the reporter, who was posing as a work experience student: "I don't know what an MEP's job is. No one's ever given me a job description. I've no idea what an MEP should or shouldn't do. So you make it up as you go along."

About his salary, he added: "It's cushy - £60,000 a year. Thank you very much indeed. What have we got to do for it? Not a lot!"

It is also alleged that the independent MEP flies on budget airlines for his commute to Brussels but claims expenses for full-price flights.

Len Baynes added: "One thing has come out of this and that is it strengthens my own belief in our own ability to govern ourselves, for if the ability to be corrupt, to commit fraud, and downright criminality is so prevalent in the corridors of power in Brussels, what the hell are we doing in such an organisation?"

Mr Wise's office has refused to comment.

Stuart Gulleford, Political Advisor to Jeffrey Titford, MEP for UK Independence Party, said: "Would you please note that Mr Wise is not a UKIP MEP. He was suspended by the Party as a UKIP MEP last year, pending disciplinary proceedings, which are ongoing.

"His current position is that he sits in the European Parliament as an independent MEP."

He added: "Some people in the Party persisted in giving him the benefit of the doubt in regard to allegations made against him last year and prior to that.

"He should not have been invited to the Fenland meeting and certainly shouldn't have been introduced/publicised as a UKIP MEP but that particular Chairman was, until the News of the World story broke, a big supporter.

"As you have seen from the letter to which you refer, he has now changed his mind. I do give the Branch Chairman some credit for being big enough to admit his mistake.

FENLAND UKIP CHAIRMAN'S LETTER IN FULL OVER TOM WISE

WITH the exposé and revelations published in the national press this weekend, I feel I must hold my hands up and publicly admit I was wrong.

For over a decade I have looked on Tom Wise (MEP) as a close personal friend of mine, whose corner I have argued constantly and consistently, against my own party's NEC and against my own party's leadership.

I have been proved wrong and to those people I most emphatically apologise and on behalf of UKIP and to the public in general I most emphatically apologise. We all have our weaknesses and who knows how anyone would react when faced with the overriding ability to make money beyond our wildest dreams.

I can only hope that had I ever been in that position I would have done the right thing. At my age that is pure supposition.

However, one thing has come out of this and that is it strengthens my own belief in our own ability to govern ourselves, for if the ability to be corrupt, to commit fraud, and downright criminality is so prevalent in the corridors of power in Brussels, what the hell are we doing in such an organisation?

We have, over the past year or so, seen this raising its ugly head in our own parliament but at least as a nation we are able to sack those found guilty even to the extent of the whole government. No such power is available to us with the Brussels parliament, that's wrong, isn't it?

I have no intention of turning this into a party political broadcast. I am not, and have never claimed to be, a politician. I am an Englishman and proud to be so and my belief is in my country's history, it's heritage and it's sovereignty, which in my eyes is second to none and the power to retain that must stay in these islands, in our own parliament, elected by our own people in Westminster. I don't know maybe I'm wrong in that too!

Again I most emphatically apologise.

Len. Baynes

Chairman

UKIP Fenland


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