Chichester quits over Euro expenses

GILES Chichester, son of round-the-world yachtsman Sir Francis Chichester, has resigned as leader of the Tory delegation in the European Parliament after breaking European Parliament rules over expenses.

Graham Dines

GILES Chichester, son of round-the-world yachtsman Sir Francis Chichester, has resigned as leader of the Tory delegation in the European Parliament after breaking European Parliament rules over expenses.

Ironically Mr Chichester had been told by David Cameron's instructions to tighten controls on Tory euro-allowances to distance the party from sleaze.

Dismissing his actions as a "whoops-a-daisy" moment, he nevertheless walked ahead of his inevitable sacking by Cameron.


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Mr Chichester remains under pressure to justify putting European Parliament staff allowances to a family business of which he is a paid director. The company, founded by his father, publishes maps and navigational aids, but has received £445,000 from EU coffers since 1996 in connection with secretarial and assistant services for the European Parliament, constituency and committee work.

In that time the firm has had an official contract formally registered with the European Parliament, but Mr Chichester said he was not aware that in 2003 the rules changed to prohibit MEPs channelling EU expenses for their staff into companies of which they are directors.

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Mr Chichester will remain a Tory MEP for the UK's South-West & Gibraltar constituency,

Mr Cameron welcomed the resignation: “Giles Chichester is right to stand down as leader of our MEPs to prepare a full explanation of how his office is funded. Just as I expect our MPs to adhere to the highest standards, so must our MEPs.

“The taxpaying public have a right to know how their money is being spent and politicians have a duty to ensure it is spent properly.”

The European Parliament's lax rules and regulations regarding expenses have landed two East of England MEPs in trouble. Firstly, Tory Bashir Khanbhai wad deselected on the orders of then leader Michael Howard in 2004 over mileage claims from a non-existent abode, while UKIP's Tom Wise had the whip withdrawn after allegations about some of his claims.

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