Former MEP sentenced to two years in jail

By staff

A former Ukip MEP has been sentenced to two years in jail for fiddling his expenses.

Tom Wise, 61, who lost the Ukip whip and turned into an independent until leaving the European parliament in June, admitted to the charges last week.

He becomes the first British politician to go to jail for expenses claims.

Wise stated his £3,000 ‘secretarial assistance allowance’ was being sent to his researcher, but in fact used the money to clear off debts and fund a lavish lifestyle.

In total, he funnelled £39,000 into a secret bank account. The money was spent on fine wine and cars, as well as party political activities.

His admission of guilt, just before Ukip leader Nigel Farage was due to appear as a witness, meant Lindsay Jenkins, the researcher, was cleared of all charges.

Two of Ukip’s 2004 intake of MEPs have now gone to prison. Ashley Mote was jailed for nine months in 2007 for benefit fraud.