And yet another corrupt UKIP MEP has been exposed by the press.
From the Times:
A British MEP uses his parliamentary staff allowance to pay three assistants who are also employed at an investment company in which he is a major shareholder.
Godfrey Bloom, the UKIP representative for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, who made headlines when he claimed that women do not “clean behind the fridge enough”, employs his 20-year-old niece and two other members of staff at TBO Investments.
Mr Bloom was director of research at TBO until he was elected to the European Parliament in 2004 and remained as a consultant until two years ago. He still owns 20 per cent of the company, which was fined £28,000 by the financial services regulator last October for “advice failings”.
Emma Brader, his accredited parliamentary assistant, and Victoria Skowronek, his secretarial assistant, were both working in the York headquarters of TBO Investments yesterday, six days before the European elections. David McLaughlin, another member of his staff, is a director of TBO Investments.
Mr Bloom, 59, has used his official website to highlight the expenses scandal at Westminster. It says: “Godfrey Bloom employs no immediate members of his family on his secretarial allowance, unlike most other MEPs (non-UKIP).” It also laments the “woeful lack of candour and common sense in modern-day politicians”.
He confirmed yesterday that Ms Skowronek was his niece and lives next door to him in Wressle, East Yorkshire. Ms Brader, 26, a leading point-to-point rider, wrote on Facebook about their prospects if Mr Bloom was not re-elected: “This would mean that Vicki and I would lose our jobs and Godfrey says we’d have to go on the game, but we wouldn’t make much money because we are too old!”
UKIP confirmed yesterday that Mr Bloom was questioned by a senior parliamentary official last year about a “possible conflict of interest with the employment contracts”. Paulo Cam- pilho, head of the parliamentary assistance and members’ general expenditure unit, decided that no further action should be taken, the party said.
Mr Bloom has become one of the best-known MEPs with his views on housewives, prostitutes and pregnant employees. He has claimed that “any small businessman or woman who employs a woman of child-bearing age needs their head examined”.
He also once argued that the majority of prostitutes were not exploited. “In short, most girls do it because they want to,” he wrote in an article for the Brussels-based political magazine The Sprout in 2006.
The Yorkshire Post reported that Mr Bloom admitted having visited brothels as a Hong Kong-based businessman, although the amount of beer he consumed meant that no encounters were consummated.
TBO was fined by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for inadequate supervision and monitoring of staff providing advice to clients and for inadequate record keeping between December 2001 and October 2007.
One of the company’s current directors, Mr McLaughlin, 36, is Mr Bloom’s “paying agent” responsible for overseeing the salaries of his parliamentary staff. Mr McLaughlin is also paid about £200 a month to provide advice to the MEPs’ constituents on pensions and financial institutions.
Mr Bloom said yesterday that his eight parliamentary staff were all part-time and were paid an average of £25,000 a year out of his £140,000 staff allowance.
Mr Bloom said: “I am pretty well known as the cleanest MEP in town. All of the people who work for me are fully qualified and trustworthy.”
He said that the FSA fine was for a “technical breach” of the rules on record-keeping. He emphasised that no client money was misused.
Mr Bloom said that Ms Brader had worked for him full-time until Christmas when she announced that she planned to marry in June. He had known her since she was at Ripon Grammar School as her parents were prominent farmers but could not recall when she started work at TBO.
When she announced her marriage plans they decided it was best if she worked part-time and he recruited his brother-in-law’s daughter to become her assistant, Mr Bloom said.
Mr Bloom said that all his daily £261 subsistence allowance for attending the European Parliament was given to charities in his constituency. He said that his constituents could see the original receipts for his spending.
End of article.
If Bloom had ANY integrity he would resign. He is a disgrace to the WHOLE Euro-realist cause!
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