Interesting to see how UKIP's prodigal son Ashley Mote is going native in the European Parliament. In a speech in the European Parliament yesterday, Mr Mote complained about a "threat to the integrity" of the European Parliament, citing a ruling in the British courts that he added was "prima facie contempt of the Parliament. The Court ruled that in lifting the immunity of an MEP who faces specific charges, the European Parliament is assumed to have lifted immunity against any other possible charges.
Confusing stuff you might think, especially from a man who was elected on the basis of opposing the EU, its institutions and all it does. Still, maybe Ashley Mote is trying to carve out a niche for himself as a champion of the European Parliament. However, UKIPwatcher suspects that, unfortunately, Mr Mote has not had a 'Road to Damascus' conversion to the necessity for the UK to be in the EU.
Rather, Mote has been using his parliamentary immunity as an MEP to try and stave off being prosecuted by the Department for Work and Pensions for benefit fraud (he has been facing charges since 2004). This latest ruling means that he could finally be prosecuted. Thus, the European Parliament challenging this ruling is the only way for him to save his skin.
Oh, Ashley, what a tangled web you weave….