Saturday, 20 August 2016
Another UKIP MEP being set-up?
Welsh MEP Nathan Gill is being investigated for abusing European Parliamentary funds. He was unaware of the investigation into him.
We have seen this at least twice before. Fall foul of the party leadership, and allegations will be made. It happened to Tom Wise, and it happened to Nikki Sinclaire.
Tom Wise unexpectedly changed his plea in court to guilty, thus sparing Nigel Farage from taking the stand and having to answer questions on oath about investigations into his own affairs, something he very much wanted to avoid. To shut down the case completely it was vital that somebody was found guilty.
The official who had investigated Tom's case told me afterwards in Brussels that he, and his superior, were astonished that this had even gone to court, but that he realised when he was called to give evidence that this was a 'stitch-up'.
Nikki Sinclaire had challenged Farage for the party leadership, exposed far-right elements in Farage's political group in Brussels, and most importantly had tabled the petition calling for a referendum on membership of the EU. In order for Farage to take back the political space he had lost, Nikki Sinclaire had to be taken out. And so the police raids and the arrests began.
Nikki was cleared of all charges, after an astonishingly long 'investigation', but the damage to her political career was done.
Now it is Gill's turn.
Why I am not sure, but he has clearly been perceived as a threat to somebody, and we can only speculate as to who that might be. His fellow MEPs will tut tut and say how they support him, but not one of them will actually extend a hand to help him. They will be too scared.