As previously noted, UKIP MEPs are not renowned for their attendance at the European Parliament.
Despite claims by Robert Kilroy-Silk MEP that UKIP will be present in Brussels and Strasbourg when it is "important and necessary", it seems that this does not include meetings of the European Parliament committees.
Kilroy-Silk, along with party leader Roger Knapman, have no position on any of the Parliament's twenty committees or two subcommittees, despite the committees being widely regarded as the place where the detailed work of the Parliament is carried out and where individual members can play a crucial role in changing legislation.
Surely Kilroy should be standing up for important and necessary British interests at this stage... or is he happy simply to shout from the sidelines...?
The full list of committee membership is as follows:
Nigel Farage: International Trade (member); Fisheries (substitute)
Gerard Batten: Foreign Affairs (substitute); Security and Defence (member)
Godfrey Bloom: Internal Market and Consumer Protection (member); Women's Rights and Gender Equality (substitute)
Graham Booth: Regional Development (member)
Derek Clark: Employment and Social Affairs (member); Internal Market and Consumer Protection (member)
Robert Kilroy Silk: neither a member nor a substitute on any committee
Roger Knapman: neither a member nor a substitute on any committee
Michael Natrass: Transport and Tourism (member)
Jeffrey Titford: Agriculture (member); Budgetary Control (member)
John Whittaker: Economic and Monetary Affairs (member)
Tom Wise: Culture and Education (member)
This leaves UKIP with no voice in major legislative committees such as the Committee on the Enviroment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, and the Committee on Legal Affairs... surely the most appropriate fora to put the brakes on what Nigel Farage called "regulation, more regulation and even more regulation"...?
Sources: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3803599.stm; http://news.bbc.co.uk/vote2001/hi/english/parties/newsid_1179000/1179163.stm