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Conservative MEPs defend taxpayer-funded trip to Croatia

06:52 24 June 2014

Geoffrey Van Orden MBE MEP

Geoffrey Van Orden MBE MEP

Photo Parlement Europeen

Eastern region Euro MPs defended a taxpayer-funded four-day “study” trip to Croatia last week, claiming important work was being done and it would have cost no more to hold it in Brussels.

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Eastern region Euro MPs defended a taxpayer-funded four-day “study” trip to Croatia last week, claiming important work was being done and it would have cost no more to hold it in Brussels.

The three Conservative MEPs in our region have come under fire for using their parliamentary allowances to fund the trip.

UK Independence Party MEP Stuart Agnew accused the party of hypocrisy, after campaigning on a ticket against wasting taxpayers’ money.

“I do not like the presumption that MEPs can go trotting around the European Union inspecting this that and the other. It is Croatia’s business,” he said.

Patrick O’Flynn, fellow Eastern region UKIP MEP, added: “This trip must cast into severe doubt any idea that Conservative MEPs have the interests of taxpayers at heart.”

Vicky Ford, Geoffrey Van Orden and David Campbell-Bannerman were all on the trip, organised by their fellow right-of-centre MEPs in the European Conservatives and Reformists group, which is now the third largest in the parliament.

Mr Van Orden was instrumental in creating the grouping in 2009.

The organised study days and working groups were held in Croatia at the invitation of a European Parliament member who hails from the island of Korcula.

The trip was to Dubrovnik, but six of the MEPs were ferried to the holiday island of Korcula. Vicky Ford attended for three days, and did not take part in the cultural trip to the Croatian island.

The MEPs used their expense allowances to pay for the visit. Mr Van Orden’s wife also joined him on the trip, but he confirmed this was at the couple’s own expense.

The MEPs said in a joint statement that any meeting of the ECR group – which includes MEPs from a number of countries – would involve travel and accommodation expenses.

“MEPs discussed our agenda and priorities for EU reform over the next five years. We were also able to gain a better understanding of the political situation in Croatia.

“The ECR is a large and growing group with MEPs from many European countries and wherever we meet – whether in Brussels, Strasbourg or elsewhere – it will involve travel and accommodation expenses.

“Existing and incoming MEPs are provided a daily allowance by the parliament, from which their accommodation was paid. Accommodation and travel costs for spouses were paid by spouses themselves.”

“The visit lasted four days and each of them involved a full programme of official business.

“The sessions included briefings from international experts on organised crime, regional funding and the issue of health tourism, as well as meetings with Croatian politicians to discuss their country’s recent accession to the EU and its priorities.”

Conservative MEP have also hosted study days in Windsor and in London.

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22 comments

  • This is just another arm of “Benefit Britain” the same attitude that makes Tories’ think they are in this world to do nothing and claim on the State,

    Report this comment

    John L Cooper

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • Shameless,shameless,shameless

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • soon the money printing and borrowing will all come to a halt . . How will the uk pay back this massive debt run up by idiots . Soon we will all have to live in the real world . The sooner the better

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • Most politicians are in the job to make the world a better place for all of us. That is the theory. The fact? They are in it to make the world a better place for themselves, their families and their chums.

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • Did that claim disturb you Sharky? Do you mean small farmers such as Stuart AgnewMEP? go ask him how much subsidy he gets from the EU each year, never mind his immense salary. UKIP has no agenda but opposing and harassing other representatives and they are wholly unable to form a group[ with Ms. Le Pen and Gert Wilders, hopeless. Just as the Conservatives who, since they left the EPP, are free floating on cloud nine going by Camerons embarassment. A polish Bullington club member had to tell him that yesterday, still he threatens to force a vote next Monday. The City of London demands it of him, they are the sole reason for his obstinacy. Watch out for flying toys.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • sadly the only thing the three main parties will listen to is when all three suffer huge loses to ukip at the next election . They fail to listen to common sense any more . As someone now pointed out 350 police have now lost their jobs . Its amazing that the coalition can print 375 billion for quantitive easing and borrow billions for things the british people did not vote for or want and cannot afford yet it cannot save the most important things.. British peoples jobs and their futures

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • I seriously want to go on holiday to Cyprus and then I can find out why it is so expensive - so I have covered the criteria to put in a claim - what is the address where I send my bill to. I would like his job when he is sacked please

    Report this comment

    A Resident

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • 350 police jobs axed, and the mep gravy train trundles on .

    Report this comment

    Reader

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • The EU wastes billions each year? Most of it goes to small farmers to subsidize cost of food and if these people didnt go on trips or waste money on EU none of us would be better off anyway our own government would just find more ways to waste it instead.

    Report this comment

    trev57

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • Amazing that some people here want to critisise Ukip for exposing these people. Where is your evidence that UKIP have done the same. The reason the Tory MP,s were there was to form a group in the EU to improve there weight on voting and included parties of similar ilk to UKIP. Amazing!!!!

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • They hate it when they get caught, don't admit the truth and it will blow over in a day or two. Career polotics stikes again.

    Report this comment

    parkeg1

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • Ah yes, UKIP: a party whose leader freely admits he's only in it for the expenses.

    Report this comment

    Origami Penguin

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • A serious fact finding mission! (And little purple piggies fly upside down over Diss.)

    Report this comment

    Drmjp

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • The EU started as a trade agreement thats all and grew into this political machine. It was no coincidence, start slowly and then draw all the countries in to create a superstate. We do not need to be in the EU it wastes billions a year and eventually all the smaller countries that have made a mess of their own economies will bankrupt us.

    Report this comment

    royg

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • Mr O’Flynn doesn’t have taxpayers interests at heart either, his party uses expenses to pay for the UKIP party instead of not claiming.

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • He had to tan himself ready for no action in the EU because of his PM who just made a twit of himself by overplaying his hand. Cameron is now isolated after his childish spat with Claude Juncker and the only allies left for him are the populist Le Pen and Wilders and farrage who just failed to form a group, what a surprise. Van orden takes the money, every time, such fun.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • 'The Gravy Train' rolls on !......as has already been said, it is no wonder they do not want us to leave the EU !, and lose all their 'little perks' ?

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • To mitigate their sneaking off to a holiday island for a jolly they say it would cost the same to stay in infernal Brussels. At last the truth is out. It is impossibly expensive to send this bunch anywhere. What are we the unfortunate public supposed to do? Leap up and down with joy?

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • Well done UKIP the majority of British People elected you for 2 reasons 1) unlike the traitorous LibLabCon you wont sign away the little bit of sovereignty this Country has left. 2) keep us informed on the events and shady goings on in the undemocratic EU. Keep up the good work

    Report this comment

    Mark Browning

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • Just another little jolly up and that's why there is a reluctance to get out of the EU. .....We had union meeting in our canteen trying to save our factory from job cuts whilst MEP,s are enjoying lovely little trips to find out if there is any political strife going on in Croatia. ???

    Report this comment

    chantry

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • The whole EU is a holiday camp so tell us something we don't know. UKIP have also been milking the EU as it paid for there election campaign, can anybody name one thing that UKIP has done for the Uk?

    Report this comment

    Sweet cheeks

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • Vic Sponge

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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