Ukip MEP Jill Seymour under fire for renting office from her husband with taxpayers’ cash
The arrangement at the European Parliament would be frowned on in Westminster
26 March 2015
A Ukip MEP has come under fire for using taxpayers’ money to pay the rent on an office owned by her husband.
Jill Seymour uses her European allowance to rent a property in Shropshire from Brian Seymour, who bought the property five months after Ms Seymour was elected as MEP in 2014, according to The Times newspaper.
A Ukip spokesman said the MEP paid rent “at market value as assessed by three independent estate agents”.
“It is used as an MEP office only and this is all completely legal and above board,” he told the newspaper.
The value of the property has not been disclosed, but nearby commercial properties of a similar size are available for between £10,000 to £20,000 a year.
Ms Seymour is running for parliament this year as the Ukip candidate the constituency of The Wrekin.
There is no suggestion that the arrangement is against European Parliament rules.
However, a similar arrangement would be prohibited were Ms Seymour elected to Westminster – the expenses system brought in in 2009 stipulates that expenses cannot be paid for properties owned by a family member.
The arrangement “would be deemed an abuse of the allowances” in Westminster, Labour MP Kevin Barron, the chair of Parliament’s standards committee, told the Times.
Another Ukip MEP, Janice Atkinson was expelled from the party on Monday night after allegations that one of her aides asked for an inflated restaurant bill in order to claim it on expenses.
In that case, a statement from the party said: “Janice Atkinson MEP and Christine Hewitt (assistant to Janice Atkinson) have been found to have brought the party into disrepute.”