Thursday, July 17, 2008

UKIP MEP - Fraud

AN EAST of England Euro MP last night said he had “nothing to hide” after it emerged a member of his own party had complained to police about alleged “financial irregularities”.

Jeffrey Titford, a former leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), was reported to Essex Police after allegations were made against him and his political advisor, Stuart Gulleford.

The pair are now under investigation by police, but they and UKIP have both dismissed the allegations.

Speaking on behalf of Mr Titford and himself, Mr Gulleford said: “The police are more than welcome to talk to us anytime they like. We have got nothing to hide. The door is open.”

Last month, fellow Euro MP Tom Wise, who was voted in as a UKIP MEP for the East of England, but is now an Independent, was arrested by Bedfordshire Police on suspicion of obtaining money by deception. He has been released on police bail pending an investigation.

The investigation into Mr Titford and Mr Gulleford was triggered by John West, chairman of UKIP in Ipswich and East Suffolk, who recently failed in a bid to stand as a Euro MP.

Mr West, also a UKIP prospective parliamentary candidate for Ipswich North and Suffolk Central, told the EADT he contacted police over the alleged “financial irregularities” after someone came to him with allegations of illegal activities.

He said he felt obliged to report the allegations which involved senior members of the UKIP party.

A spokesman for Essex police said: “We can confirm we have received a complaint from Mr West and it is under investigation.”

But the UKIP party stood by their members denying there was anything in the allegations.

A spokesman said: “We have received these allegations at senior level some time ago. They were investigated and found to be completely without foundation and we wish to make no further comment on that.

“Jeffery Titford and Stuart Gulleford are both long serving members of good character.”

A retired Frinton funeral director, Mr Titford was born in West Mersea,and was a local councillor in the Clacton area in the 1970s.

He became involved with UKIP in late 1997. He was elected an MEP in June 1999 and was re-elected in June 2004. He successfully stood for the Party leadership in March 2000, a position he held until October 2002.


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