The European parliament: an apology

“Signing the retirement documents in the European parliament with Secretary-General Klaus Welle on May 31st”.

I find myself in the rather unusual position of having to offer an apology to the European parliament, following the Guardian story “MEP resigns amid investigation into alleged misuse of funds”  on June 13th.

Just to re-cap, the parliament approached me some months ago with questions about the work of two of my UK staffers, and asked for evidence that they had in fact done the work for which they were payed.  The parliament is of course perfectly entitled to ask such questions, though I must admit that I felt somewhat offended that they felt the need to do so.

I submitted substantial dossiers of evidence of work done in both cases.  A few weeks ago I heard that they had cleared the case of my Press Officer Nick Tite, but I continued to await the outcome on the other case, Paul Oakden.  On reading the Guardian story, and indeed the story in the Metro,  I naturally assumed that the parliament had decided against the case of Paul Oakden, that there would be a letter to me to that effect in the system, and that a copy had been leaked in advance to the Guardian and formed the basis of their story.

I was away from home from June 13th to 22nd, and expected to find the parliament letter on my return.  But it was not there.  Further enquiries showed that the parliament had indeed reviewed the dossier I had provided, that the Secretary-General Klaus Welle had referred it to the parliament Legal Services, and that they had reported back to the Sec-Gen on June 19th – nearly a week after the Guardian report.

I should have been surprised if the parliament had reached a negative conclusion, because the evidence I had submitted was substantial and incontrovertible.  It included, for example, hard copy evidence of 800+ phone and e-mail contacts between me and Paul Oakden in 2016.  Given that Paul was contracted to work on a half-time basis for me, that amounts to an average of at least seven contacts per working day.  This would be an inconceivable level had we not been working together on an intense and continuous basis.

I should have been surprised if a negative letter had been leaked, but not too surprised.  On the one hand, the parliament is engaged in hostile and politically-motivated “investigations” into a number of Eurosceptic MEPs.  It is judge, jury and executioner in its own cause, and it has little sympathy for those who oppose the EU project.  It also has form in leaking letters to the press before the individuals concerned know what is going on.  I suppose it is just conceivable that a draft letter had been prepared in the parliament, and leaked to the Guardian, before the Sec-Gen’s final decision – but it seems unlikely.

So I am forced to the conclusion that the Guardian, in a fit of malice and opportunism, took the story of my retirement and chose to conflate it with the months-old story that that the parliament had launched an investigation into my staff, with the objective of implying that I was leaving the parliament as a result of the investigation.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  As I have explained elsewhere, I had been pondering retirement for years, I had decided last year to retire this year, and indeed I signed the relevant papers on May 31st this year, before the UK General Election and a fortnight before the Guardian story.

So my suggestion that the parliament had leaked a new letter to the Guardian in June appears to be mistaken, and I apologise for the misunderstanding.

While the Guardian was careful to put the quote marks in the right place, and talk about “alleged” misuse of funds, the Metro was less careful.  Its front-page headline read UKIP MEP quits over “misuse of £100,000 of EU money”.  It has placed the quote marks so that the misuse of money is merely alleged, but the causal connection between the retirement and the financial allegations is asserted as fact.  Of course it is no such thing.  The claim is false and defamatory.  I suspect the sub-editor who wrote the headline may come to regret it.

Meantime the flood of vitriol on social media continues.  Many media trolls are clearly no more than abusive idiots.  But I noticed that my Nottingham sparring partner Professor Michael Merrifield Tweeted a reference to my “retiring in disgrace”.  He should know better.  His comment is clearly actionable.  (Don’t worry, Michael – I’ll be happy to settle for an apology and a £5000 donation to the GWPF).

Of course I still await the final outcome, which should clear the case of Paul Oakden as it has cleared the case of Nick Tite.  If it does not, I shall certainly appeal, and if the appeal fails I will consider other avenues to clear my name.  In the course of a long career I have been criticised rightly or wrongly for many things, but I have always been scrupulously honest with money, and I am angry that between them the parliament and their friends in the media have chosen to air these false allegations just as I move on to a well-earned retirement.

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33 Responses to The European parliament: an apology

  1. vanorman2016 says:

    The Media, The EU, Remoaners, The Guardian and all the non-patriotic will spread propaganda, disruption and chaos. They do not care who they destroy and will go to any lengths in order to get their way. They hate Brexit and Leave because they want to rule completely and with impunity. Money and Power is everything to them. People and Country mean nothing.

    • astrogalblog says:

      Absolutely spot on. Roger is a pillar of rectitude, integrity etc. Over the years, the vicious libleft libtards have sought to vilify, pillory and castigate Roger and character assassinate him! Disgraceful and shameful of them. These traitors are anything but democrats and seem to be hell-bent on destroying democracy wholesale.

  2. Silamairin says:

    Roger I am sory you are retiring , UKIP have been assassinated by the press and the BBC , one thing I have never understood no party mentions that the BBC get EU money and like goldman Sachs they are bound by a loyalty clause , that I find disgraceful same as the traitors taking EU pensions and foretelling gloom and doom and demanding another referendum , politics has hit a new low .

    • charles wardrop says:

      Yes, the time is long overdue for forcing the BBC to abide by its Charter’s insistence on political balance and impartiality.

    • astrogalblog says:

      Very sorry to hear that you are retiring Roger but you have been UKIP’s staunchest ally and you have a way with words too, in fact I think you are like a Nigel Farage Mark 2! Thank you for all your hard work and keeping the rest of us so well informed about the dubious workings and shenanigans that goes on behind EU “Directives” doors”. Wishing every best wish and thank you again. I and I hope many others like will miss you, your wit, your foresight etc. All the best Roger.

  3. Shieldsman says:

    I wish you well in your retirement from the European Parliament Roger, I shall miss your critiques of the Brussels involvement in the AGW scam.

    I note that I am not alone in my shunning of the biased BBC. A friend of mine complained about their commenting on the State opening of Parliament, and this was their response: –
    “…regarding our recent coverage of the State Opening of Parliament. We understand that you feel that Laura Kuenssberg’s reporting displayed bias against Theresa May and the Conservative Party. As the BBC’s Political Editor, Laura Kuenssberg’s role is to provide our audiences with an impartial analysis of key political developments, based on her knowledge and expert judgment. We believe that her reporting of this event was entirely consistent with this aim.
    It is Laura’s job to analysis the current political climate using the information she is given, and to put people to task when given the opportunity to interview them.

    Is she reporting her opinion or the BBC’s, in either case it is an opinion and could be biased.

    The intructions, the money and the fitting of the insulating cladding on Grenfell Tower and other tower blocks is a direct result of an attempt to meet the demands of the Climate Change Act. Will an enquiry cite this as the primary reason for their fitting. But, for the CCA they would never have been fitted.

  4. Rosie says:

    Nobody we know has ever doubted your honesty and integrity. We also all appreciate the hard work you have done as proven by your blog and regular correspondence. The country and the Party are losing a very high calibre statesman when you retire. However, if anybody deserves to retire it’s you. Don’t let the continued unpleasantness from EU bureaucrats diminish your deserved accolade. It says more about them than it does about you. That’s why we’re leaving that mob.

  5. Ian Terry says:

    Roger,
    After years of not being a political interested animal I can only thank you as one of the few that actually made me sit up and listen to the despicable scams we now know as climate change and the EU. I never did vote to go into the bloq the first time round and that was based upon the comments of a engineer that I worked with, his take was; “just look at that lot we are joining, there ain’t one we haven’t given a good hiding to and if we join them it will be pay back time” My God he was right how we have been screwed over the last 40 years.

    I wish you a long and happy retirement and thank you for all the tireless work you have done for the country and the party. What a happy band of brothers you became over there and you gave us hope that there was a better life and existence for our country and its people.

    • Marion Kirby says:

      I willingly second your comments. Thank you Roger, your writings at the time of the referendum kept me sane. Every time I read the lies of the Remainers and so called experts I was reassured by reading your posts.
      Have a happy retirement but don’t forget your UKIP friends.

  6. Jane Davies says:

    Good luck in your retirement Roger. I suppose having nasty remarks said about one goes with the territory but once they cross over into slander and deformation then the only recourse is the legal route. Mud sticks even if it is thrown by those intent on harming ones reputation so I hope the apology is as loud and noticeable as the damaging headline.

    How about starting a ‘life after retirement blog’, I’m sure you will get plenty of followers.

  7. barrymx5 says:

    Roger, given that you are a similar age to me , I have been filled with admiration at your dedication and application. But you have more than done your bit and deserve your retirement. Your efforts can be devoted to defending your good name and showing up the Guardianistas for the liars they are. Even Donald Trump has problems with their like so it is not an easy task. But you can tackle it to your own timetable rather than one dictate by the pretence of a parliament.
    Best wishes, Barry Harding.

  8. Richard111 says:

    Good luck and Thank you Roger. You have been a ray of sunlight in this dark world.

    Now for a general rant… if a terrorist has attempted to kill people surely he has acted against THEIR HUMAN RIGHTS! Why should the terrorist now be granted HIS HUMAN RIGHTS ???

    THIS IS CALLED JUSTICE ?????

  9. KennieD says:

    Roger,
    I entirely agree with everything being said on this blog.
    Good luck and best wishes for a long and happy (and healthy) retirement.
    But, it would be nice if you could continue to send us your blogs. I’m sure your ex-colleagues will keep you up-to-date on Brussels/Strasbourg shenanigans.
    ps: what would catalanbrian do without something about which to rant at us all. He may be forced to walk round looking at his ancient olive trees.

  10. Charles Wardrop says:

    Fully agreed!

  11. Dung says:

    Roger

    I have ocasionally criticised you for not being agressive enough when attacking both the EU and the AGW zealots but dishonest?
    You are highly intelligent, insanely well qualified academically, always reasonable, constantly over working yourself, totally loyal and you are painfully honest even when put under intense pressure, you are a marvel in the present day!

  12. David H. Walker says:

    Thank you, Roger, for your principled stand for the UK, and against the aspiring tyrants of the EU. I very much hope you continue to provide us with your hard information, opinions, and concepts so we may be inspired and active..

    I wish you all the best, my friend.

    David

  13. catweazle666 says:

    Enjoy your retirement Roger, and thank you very much for the work you have done to help UKIP secure first the Referendum and secondly the very satisfactory outcome.
    I wish you the very best of luck.

  14. astrogalblog says:

    I concur with all the above high praise for Roger, thing is he’s earned it, so it is well-deserved. He is tireless and indefatigable in the cause of keeping the rest us informed on all things EU.

    • Silamairin says:

      My one regret that he never took hold of the leadership ,Roger as every one has agreed you are one of the best the highest praise I can give you is as a politician I actually trusted you , and there aint many that I would say that about .

  15. Nicky G says:

    You have served those in the East Midlands with honour all these years and you have stayed true to your views and actions, as we have stayed loyal to you as our MEP. We both hope that you have a happy and relaxed retirement Roger…..what next…..Strictly Come Dancing? All the Best of British.

  16. MIKE MAUNDER says:

    Total agreement with above comments. Enjoy your retirement Roger. I will have to find a new blog to read now, but it won’t be as enjoyable ! Roger and out.

    • vanorman2016 says:

      Thank you for all you have done, Roger. I know that you, along with Nigel Farage, will keep on fighting for BREXIT, be it in the front lines or behind the scenes, Kippers never give up.

  17. rfhmep says:

    My thanks to everyone on this thread. I am touched and humbled by your kind and supportive comments.

    • Silamairin says:

      Your ~Welcome . we need you behind the scenes before rabble rouser Corbyn takes control, even if its just on the media along with Nigel Thanks again

  18. Derek says:

    All the comments are richly deserved. You have been an inspiration to us all. You thoroughly deserve your retirement, but who will take your place. Perhaps you could join the after-dinner speaking circuit. I believe there are some well-paid events available.

  19. clairethinker says:

    It is disgraceful , and I wouldn’t dream of believing anything I read in the Guardian. Anyone who goes into politics will find that there is a non-stop stream of mendacious , insulting and defamatory stuff poured out by the leftwing media, both the mainstream press and the dozens of other nasty little outfits that hav set up online including UKIPwatch and Political Scrapbook, They are all pro-EU and wildly LGBT so by leftwing we don’t mean helping the poor in any way of course. They just spread anti-social lies.
    Clearly this was set up by somebody who knew that Roger was retiring and decided to launch an “investigation” beforehand just so they could smear him by insinuating bad reasons for his departure. They really are vile.

    • Mike Maunder says:

      In total agreement with clairethinker. Roger, I am worried about you. You should be in total retirement now. Why not wear these comments as a badge of honour, rather than get involved in legal expense and time ? We all know the anger that the EU has for anyone that goes against them. – They had years to bring you down in that disgusting parliament, but were unable to do so. The only people that will grasp these comments, are people that you and I would not wish to talk to, and in any case why take the time out of your retirement, to do what they wish you to do. In any case, the mentally limited will always fall back on ‘There’s no smoke without fire,’ even if you get a full apology from them. Turn over a new leaf Roger, and relax.

      • vanorman2016 says:

        Agree. Fools and the corrupt will never change.

      • Sheila White says:

        Agree ,rise above the bigot s Roger your a bigger person than the collective them ,the people who matter in your life never doubted you .
        When you tread in dogs poo you clean your shoe , cleanse your mind of them

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