Tom (not so) Wise now has the dubious honour of becoming the first British politician to spend time behind bars for fiddling his expenses. Today is his first full day at Her Majesty’s pleasure. He is not the only one first elected as a UKIP MEP in 2004 to fall foul of the law. Ashley Mote got off with a 9 month prison sentence for benefit fraud. Mote had claimed £32,000 in income support and a further £35,000 in housing benefit. Neither were allowed to remain in UKIP.
Wise was given a two year prison sentence for embezzling funds from the public purse for his own use. Seems he made good use of it too: the police found that he had spent blown £3,500 of taxpayers’ cash on 19 cases of fine wine — along with £1,000 of his own money, he used £6,800 to clear credit card bills and then squandered £6,400 on a second-hand Peugeot 206.
UKIPwatcher finds it interesting though that Wise had maintained his "innocent" plea all along and only changed his plea just before Farage was due to give evidence against Wise at the trial. What was Nigel going to say? Wise obviously thought it better to cop for a couple of years than have Nigel's knowledge made public. Anyone know what NF was going to say?
Ah, now UKIPwatcher understands why Paul Nuttall didn’t stand for Leader of the party but it is still somewhat confusing. Just exactly does Paul Nuttall want?
First, he wanted to be an MEP, or so he told us when he chose to stand for the European Parliament. Now he wants to be an MP and fight for Joe Benton’s Bootle seat in Sefton, Merseyside. In order to do this he is standing down as Chair of UKIP. In an interview he has given to the Wirral Globe he says: "It gives me the chance to concentrate on fighting for the Bootle seat."
He goes on to say "The North West is a large area and I want to concentrate on giving my time and effort to all my constituents."
Just what is it he is going to concentrate on? Is he going to do his job and represent the citizens of the North West in the European Parliament or is he going to spend his time in Bootle, joining his pal Nigel in a quest for a Westminster seat? Someone should warn the good people of Bootle!
In the meantime, Farage is backing Lord Pearson for the job of Leader, saying “things will be tricky” if one of the other candidates win. Ballot papers are to be returned by 26th November.