Former MEP Nikki Sinclaire has finally been found 'Not Guilty' of fraud. This follows a four year investigation, which may have cost the taxpayer some £1.5 million. The allegations made against her, by a disgruntled former employee, one John Ison, involve travel claims amounting to around £3000. Having been present with Nikki at meetings in the European Parliament's finance offices, I can confirm that senior officials told her that there appeared to be some errors, but that they would balance out at the end of the year. So why did this need a four year investigation, culminating in a failed prosecution? West Midlands Plod are, of course, trying to defend the decision to prosecute, but the stories about their incompetence I will leave it for Nikki to decide whether to tell them or not. But most satisfying for me personally was the exposure of John Ison himself. Having met him a few times, I have to say that I took an immediate dislike to him. A Walter Mitty type character possesed of neither social skills or political nous was my first impression. This court case has not been his finest hour, and friends who have heard my opinions of him in private have read about his cross-examination, and are saying to me "wow, you weren't kidding!" But best of all, and I quote from the Express & Star newspaper; "The jury at Birmingham Crown Court heard there had been an atmosphere of "hostility" between Ms Sinclaire and Ukip leader Nigel Farage, and that Mr Ison had passed information about her to the senior party figure."
"Under cross examination from Sinclaire's barrister Sean Hammond, Mr Ison accepted being a "spy or a mole" in her office, and admitted passing information about the MEP to Nigel Farage in 2009-10. Mr Ison also accepted making 30-40 hours of covert recordings of Sinclaire, and sending a message to another Ukip colleague claiming he had hacked her laptop." What is not mentioned is that at around the time that computer files were stolen, and I have seen the evidence personally, Ison was being employed by UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall. I think this story shows us what a sordid little gang the party became under the leadership of Nigel Farage. The fact that Ison had himself appeared in court some years ago accused of strangling his wife is irrelevant to the case, but just tells us a little more about the man.