Tory MEPs must face expenses scrutiny

DAVID Cameron's his new financial trouble-shooter is being despatched to Brussels next week to sort out Tory MEPs' expenses.Hugh Thomas, who was appointed in March as the Conservative Party's Head of Compliance, heads for the EU following the expenses controversy surrounding Tory MEP Giles Chichester.

Graham Dines

DAVID Cameron's his new financial trouble-shooter is being despatched to Brussels next week to sort out Tory MEPs' expenses.

Hugh Thomas, who was appointed in March as the Conservative Party's Head of Compliance, heads for the EU following the expenses controversy surrounding Tory MEP Giles Chichester.

Chichester stepped down as leader of the Tory delegation's leader after being told by Mr Cameron to justify transferring more than £400,000 of European Parliament staff expenses into a private family company. Chichester says he committed a “whoops-a-daisy” momentary technical breach of spending rules and would work to prove his probity as a rank-and-file MEP.


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Mr Thomas, whose job is to ensure the integrity of all Tory finances, will now act swiftly to bring the Brussels branch of the party in line with London.

A statement from Conservative Central Office said Mr Thomas's mission was two-fold:

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“To reinforce the importance of the existing guidelines on MEP allowances announced in April, and to establish arrangements for regular publication of a breakdown of allowances on an equivalent basis to Members of Parliament.

“To assess the efficiency of their current reporting procedures around expenses and office costs.”

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