Paul Nuttall still appears to be AWOL after the humiliating chain of events, started by the SKWAWKBOX’s analysis of video of his Hillsborough comments to the BBC, that have led to him confessing to some false statements and trying (and failing) to blame others for them.
UKIP also appears to be in a panic over the imminent release of the OLAF European anti-fraud unit’s report into allegations that the party’s MEPs defrauded €20 million from the EU and is involved in the creation and distribution of child pornography. Again, the existence of the investigation was a SKWAWKBOX exclusive – another one that the mainstream media in the UK and abroad eventually caught onto and ‘revealed’.
At the same time, ex-leader Nigel Farage, the party’s only MP Douglas Carswell and Nuttall himself have inadvertently given away information that potentially points to the same kind of fraud allegations that OLAF has been investigating – and the party’s prospects in the Stoke Central and Copeland by-elections appear to be slumping.
Not a happy time for UKIP at the moment. So the party is unlikely to appreciate the release of further details of Mr Nuttall’s alleged fraud.
A signifcant part of the OLAF investigation concerns an apparent UKIP habit of claiming EU funding for employees who are not involved in qualifying work. The party has already been found guilty of ‘misappropriation’ worth around €400,000 and ordered to pay back a substantial chunk of that sum. But that pales into insignificance compared to the current investigation – and Paul Nuttall features prominently.
The MEP’s assistants for which Mr Nuttall is claiming funding from the EU are listed on the EU’s website, of which a screenshot is shown below:
Of that list, Mr Nuttall himself shone a spotlight on Lynda Roughley when he had her take the blame this week for the false ‘close friends’ claim on his website.
Of the others:
- Nigel Brown is alleged – by other UKIP members – to have been the secretary of a number of non-existent UKIP branches across the north-west, to try to create the false impression of a thriving party
- Philip Griffiths is UKIP North West Chairman – a role that does not qualify for EU funding, which would raise concerns if he has no qualifying role:
- Noel Matthews is the editor of a UKIP blog – another non-qualifying role with the same caveats as above.
- Gary Robinson is under investigation by OLAF for allegedly splitting an EU salary with Paul Nuttall when he has no role – and of doing the same with the other north-west UKIP MEP, Louise Bours, who also lists him among her assistants.
So, Mr Nuttall is under investigation for allegedly claiming funding for a high proportion of his listed ‘assistants’ when they have either a non-qualifying role or none at all.
However – and remarkably – that’s not the most shocking fact relating to these ‘assistants’.
Here’s what is: three of them may not exist.
Three of the names on the list are allegedly, according to ex-UKIP whistleblowers, entirely fictitious: Robert Welsh, Helen Louise Smith and Deborah Stokes.
According to the SKWAWKBOX’s sources, none of these three are known to UKIP members. Nor has Google heard of them – if you google their names and UKIP together, these are the results:
The results are the same if you search for ‘Helen Louise Smith’, ‘Debbie Stokes’ etc.
We’ve already seen that one real person alleged to be wrongly claimed for by Paul Nuttall also appears on the list of UKIP MEP Louise Bours – and this also applies to one of the allegedly fictitious staff members. Here’s Miss Bours’ list in full:
The allegedly- and apparently-fictitious Deborah Stokes also appears on Ms Bours’ list.
If the allegations are true, then three out of eight assistants Paul Nuttall claims EU cash for are not only unqualified to claim but completely made up.
Of course, if Mr Nuttall wishes to establish his innocence in this matter, it’s very simple and the SKWAWKBOX will be delighted to accommodate him. All he needs to do is send a copy of an official ID – passport or photocard driving licence – to this blog and a copy of a utility bill for each one.
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