Jailed UKIP MEP's book vows to 'point the finger' but won't be a bestseller - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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Jailed UKIP MEP's book vows to 'point the finger' but won't be a bestseller

Monday, 7 June 2010
Tom Wise, former UKIP MEP (Photo: richardwillisuk.files.wordpress.com)It won't be winning any book prizes or be in such demand that copies fly off the shelves but the jailed former UKIP MEP Tom Wise, currently in prison after being convicted for fiddling his expenses, has pledged to continue the party’s tradition of ‘pulling no punches’ in his forthcoming book to be written upon his release later this month.

Wise is expected to be released from jail on 29th June having served just six months of a two-year sentence, which was handed down to him in November 2009 by Southwark Crown Court for false accounting and money laundering.

During that trial, the court heard how Mr Wise, now 62, boasted openly about “repatriating” money from the EU to Britain as he lodged his £3,000-a-month claims for office staff. But, paying his researcher only a fraction of the allowance, he channelled the rest into a secret bank account used to pay for shipments of fine wines and other personal expenditure.

The court then learnt that the former MEP for the East of England could have pocketed up to £180,000 had the suspicious claims not been exposed by the Sunday Telegraph in 2005.

Tom Wise, as an MEP, in Brussels (Photo: eureferendum.blogspot.com)It then emerged that Mr Wise later managed to fool senior European Parliament officials into clearing him of wrongdoing in an investigation with a series of lies about where the money had gone, the court heard.

However, as his then party leader Nigel Farage was due to give evidence against him, Mr Wise changed his plea to guilty and received his reduced sentence.

Mr Wise, who was described in court as a “rising star” in the party and who during his time in Brussels sat on the Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport committee, was forced to sit as an independent until the end of his term in office after the UKIP party withdrew the whip.

But now, upon his release he intends to pen a book which according to a close friend quoted by theparliament.com will “pull no punches and he will not hesitate to point the finger at those who were culpable in what has happened to him.

I cannot help but wonder whether the book is in fact an autobiography since he surely bought this on himself with his fraudulent expenses claims.

But one thing for sure is that it will certainly not be well received by his old party; one UKIP MEP Gerard Batten confessed that even "if a book ever appears, I shall not be buying it.

As for me, occupying the spot in my summer reading list reserved for an UK MEP EU-bashing will remain the book written by a certain Nigel Farage called ‘Fighting Bull’…

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