Nigel Farage must be hoping the latest crop of UKIP MEPs prove more honest than the 2004 intake, after former MEP Tom Wise was sentenced to two years in prison.
Wise, who until earlier this year was an MEP for the East of England, channelled £39,000 of taxpayers’ money into a secret bank account and spent it on cars and wine.
His trick was to pay his assistant £500 a month, say he was paying her £3,000 a month and pocket the difference.
The scam was reported by the Daily Telegraph in October 2005. A couple of years later, Tom Wise was expelled from UKIP and sat as an independent MEP.
Tom isn’t the only UKIP MEP to defraud taxpayers and be sent to prison as a result. Ashley Mote was given a nine month sentence in 2007 after falsely claiming £65,000 in benefits. Both MEPs had been expelled from UKIP by the time they stood trial.