GREEN PARTY EURO CANDIDATE SLAMS ARRESTED MEP
Cllr. Rupert Read, prospective Green Party MEP for the Eastern Region, today slammed Independent MEP Tom Wise after his arrest on suspicion of obtaining money by possibly several counts of deception (1), branding the former UKIP member 'a disgrace and a disaster for Eastern Region voters and to European politics'.
Mr Wise MEP was suspended by UKIP in 2007 during a European Parliament inquiry over allegations that he claimed money to pay for one of his staff's wages but did not pass all the cash on to her. In May this year he then bragged how he had spent a day 'shamelessly dodging work' and how he 'milks the taxpayers for thousands every week in allowance and expenses claims... It's the opportunity to make shedloads of money. At the end of the day I made £2,000 this week.' (2)
Cllr Read said
"Tom Wise is a disgrace and something of a disaster for his Eastern Region voters and for European politics. He is someone who seems to do virtually no work at all, despite being an elected Eastern Region MEP and, therefore, a supposedly-trusted representative of the people.
"It is disturbing, and deeply ironic, to see an out-and-out euro-sceptic MEP boasting about taking advantage of the Brussels expenses system, to the detriment of his Eastern Region constituents. His voters might as well cut out the European Union, where he is elected and paid to work on their behalf, and channel their taxes straight into his bank account. It is no surprise to me that he has been arrested for alleged corruption, and if found guilty will complete his transition from trusted politician to petty thief, unworthy of the voters' trust.
"He has no place as a politician, nor as an MEP."
Cllr Read, who was endorsed by Martin Bell (3), the BBC's 'man in the white suit' and who in 1997 stood as an anti-corruption MP against Neil Hamilton in the Tatton constituency, and whose first job was as a Radio Norfolk journalist, added
"I am a committed Green politician. Greens are well know and much respected on Norwich council and throughout the UK for honest and open government and, if elected next June, I am committed to being absolutely 100% transparent and honest in my expenses and work in the European Parliament.
"Being Green means being clean. Clean politics, especially in Europe, is more vital than ever if we are to combat the rising tide of public scepticism about politics, fueled by the self-proclaimed behaviour of the likes of Tom Wise. You can trust Greens to deliver clean politics."
Notes to editors
3. While sharing a platform at the 2008 Green Party spring national Conference, discussing corruption in government and the state, Mr Bell told Party Conference: "Rupert has a very good chance of winning in 2009. The Greens are a mainstream party now and deserve such breakthroughs. I wish you every good luck."