It appears that the European parliament services (or some individual in them) has decided to leak details of an investigation into the staff expenditure of a number of UKIP MEPs. This follows the same pattern as the investigation into the ADDE, where the media learned the details of a parliamentary investigation before the people concerned.
I have written to the parliamentary services in the following terms:
Dear Mr. Klethi,
I attach below an e-mail from a Guardian journalist, received yesterday, relating to the investigation mentioned in your letter to me of November 22nd (a letter, which I may say, was never delivered to my address, and which I saw for the first time yesterday).
It is clear that the Guardian knows a great deal more about this matter than I do, so I am forced to the conclusion that the details in possession of the Guardian were leaked to them by your services. It is disgraceful that an MEP should learn the details of a parliamentary investigation from a journalist. But it follows the pattern established by your investigation of the ADDE, when those concerned received information on the allegations first from the press, and only later from your services.
I have some questions to put to you. Do you recognise the preposterous figure of £95,000? On what basis was it calculated? What steps will you take to identify the leaker in your department? What disciplinary measures will be taken against him/her? Do you agree with me that this leak is a deliberate and malicious attempt to undermine UKIP during a critical by-election campaign? Do you recognise the reputational damage to me personally, and to other colleagues, that this leak has already caused (the story is in today’s press)? What proposals will you make to compensate us for this reputational damage?
The only substantial issue raised in your letter of Nov 22nd is the failure of your services to recognise that my staffer Mr. Paul Oakden switched from full-time employment with me prior to the last euro-elections in June 2014 to half-time employment thereafter, until he left my employment entirely on Dec 31st 2016 on his appointment to the full-time rôle of UKIP Party Chairman. The fact that his salary was cut by 50% in June 2014 might have given you a clue. This is a minor administrative glitch that could have been, and should have been, resolved quickly and easily and without recourse to deliberate black propaganda.
All the salary payments made on my staff allowance to Mr. Oakden (and my other staffers) have been entirely proper, and based on work actually performed for me as a MEP, not for any other work.
I will be publishing this message on my blog, since I have no option but to defend myself against these slurs on my reputation for financial probity.
I look forward to your response, and to your early action to resolve this misunderstanding.
ROGER HELMER MEP