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Ukip MEP Trevor Colman on Riding The EU Gravy Train
Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 27/01/2014
is what gives the remaining 10% a bad name!
I go to Brussels to claim £200,000 in allowances, admits UKIP MEP who has done NOTHING in Parliament in the last year
- Trevor Colman admits allowances is a ‘factor’ for clocking into Parliament
- Insists there is no point giving a speech to an all but empty chamber
- Lib Dems question why UKIP member stood for election in the first place
PUBLISHED: 15:10, 27 January 2014 | UPDATED: 20:36, 27 January 2014
UKIP MEP Trevor Colman has defended claiming tens of thousands of pounds in allowances while barely speaking in Brussels
A UKIP MEP has admitted one of the only reasons he turns up in Brussels is to claim £200,000 in allowances.
Trevor Colman has not done anything in the European Parliament in the last year, and has only taken part in half of votes since 2009.
The South West MEP insisted he could not see the point in making speeches in the Parliament, and instead claimed the taxpayers’ money to fund an anti-EU website.
All MEPs receive a salary of £78,000 but must ‘clock in’ to the Parliament building in order to receive various allowances.
However, Mr Colman has only made speeches or asked questions just 19 times, well behind the average of the five other MEPs in the South West.
Asked whether allowances were a factor influencing his decision, Mr Colman: ‘I wouldn’t say getting the allowances is one of the main motivations, I’m trying to be fair about it, it is a factor, of course it is.’
He was confronted about his expenses during an interview on BBC’s Sunday Politics West show.
Mr Colman said: ‘Why make a speech when you know that it is totally ineffective? That you are there talking to a gallery of about six people, I don’t quite see the point of me doing that.
‘It’s not that I’m not doing anything, I am trying to get us out of this mess and that can only be achieved over here.’
Last year a study found that cosseted MEPs now have incomes up to 20 times higher than the people they represent.
While millions of families across Europe have had their incomes squeezed, most MEPs have enjoyed large increases in their salaries – while continuing to vote through ever-higher budgets for the EU.
The study found that MEPs enjoy an average income of £182,826, including allowances for attendance and travel.
Mr Colman said there was no point in giving a speech to the European Parliament which was often all but emtpy
Mr Colman admitted turning up at the European Parliament to ensure he receives his huge allowances, most of which he spends on a website aimed at removing the UK from the European Union.
He added: ‘The European Parliament has no power, it can’t make or change legislation, it has little or no power, we are in fact just a pantomime taking players to make the illusion of giving democracy where none exists.
The BBC found Mr Colman – who is standing down in May – employs five full time staff, who mainly work on the website, another woman who covers Brussels and Strasbourg, and a part time employee.
Graham Watson, a Lib Dem MEP, said: ‘There is a massive amount that goes on in the European parliament and that’s why most of the members are there full-time doing their jobs,
‘I’m sorry if Trevor Colman finds it so boring, but I would have to ask the question why did he stand in the first place.’
However UKIP chairman Steve Crowther defended Mr Colman’s conduct.
‘We have a specific job to do and we are elected to do it, that is to campaign and work for Britain to come out of the European Parliament,’ he said.
FORMER POLICE CHIEF WHO BOASTS OF BRUSSELS EXPENSES GRAVY TRAIN AND IS CONSISTENTLY GROUP AMONG THE WORST MEPS
Mr Colman is no stranger to criticism of his behaviour as an MEP – and has been blasted for wasting taxpayers’ money before.
The UKIP member, who stood unsuccessfully in 2004 but won a seat in 2009, said last year that he goes to Brussels just twice a month, for ‘about three days’.
He told the Journal of European Integration: ‘If I don’t come and put my card in the slot to vote, I don’t get my money to give to the party.’
While in December 2010 an investigation by the Sunday Telegraph ranked him in the bottom half of UK MEPS. It calculated that he cost taxpayers £156,415 per year, attended around 83 per cent of parliamentary sessions, and made just 12 speeches, questions or motions.
The figures would seem to suggest that his activity dropped dramatically after he had spent more than a year as an MEP.
He was also criticised by a 2009 report designed to expose MEPs who voted against making Brussels more transparent. He was given the fourth-worst ranking in this category.
Before being elected, Mr Colman had served in Devon & Cornwall police, rising to the rank of superintendent.
He left the force in 1995, and then spent four years advising the ITV detective series Wycliffe
To view the original article CLICK HERE
This entry was posted on 27/01/2014 at 23:11 and is filed under EU, EUkip, UKIP. Tagged: Countryman, GL-W, Greg Lance-Watkins, Greg_L-W, Steve Crowther, Trevor Colman, Ukip Gravy Train, Ukip Milk Expenses, Wycliffe. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.