UKIP suspends MEP Janice Atkinson over “allegations of a serious financial nature”
UKIP general election candidate and Euro MP, Janice Atkinson, has been suspended following “allegations of a serious financial nature”.
Janice Atkinson, who was fighting for the Folkestone and Hythe seat, was suspended after her chief of staff was filmed asking a manager for a bogus invoice.
The Sun caught video footage revealing Ms Atkinson’s chief of staff accepting a restaurant receipt of £3,150 – over three times the original amount.
Mr Farage said he was “astonished” at the claims.
A UKIP spokesman said:
“The party is incredibly disappointed with Ms Atkinson, who appears to have exercised extremely poor judgement in acting in a way the party has never, and would never, condone.”
“The party has acted swiftly and immediately.”
“Just as we showed when we suspended another MEP for financial irregularities, we always maintain a zero tolerance attitude towards acts of this nature.”
Nigel Farage told the BBC that there is going to be an “immediate investigation as to what the truth of this is”.
“All I will say is, we have got the spotlight very much on us as UKIP,” he said.
“We’ve got to behave absolutely properly and if we see anything we think is wrong, we will come down on it like a tonne of bricks.”
A claim was not made, says Nigel
The UKIP leader said that he does not think the receipt was submitted to the EU.
“It looks like a claim that wasn’t made, I am pleased to say – but a claim that was intended to be made, that may not have been as genuine as perhaps it should have been.”
“It would appear there was the intention to produce a receipt that may not have been genuine.”