UKIP MEP Trevor Colman has admitted in an interview on BBC’s Sunday Politics West that one of the main reasons he attends the sessions in Strasbourg and Brussels is to secure his parliamentary allowances.
Mr Colman is one of the ‘laziest’ MEPs in the European Parliament and has only taken part in half of all votes (52.59%) during his five years in office (ranked 751st out of 766
He has made a total of 19 contributions (17 speeches and just two questions to the European Commission) since being elected in 2009. The average for the South West's five other MEPs is 345…
The UKIP MEP, who costs taxpayers in the South West in the region of £156,415 a year, said that "if I don't come and put my card in the slot to vote, I don't get my money
"I wouldn’t say getting the allowances is one of the main motivations, I’m trying to be fair about it, it is a factor, of course it is.”
He defended his small contribution, saying that just because he did not stand up and say anything in debates, did not mean he was not doing anything.
"Why make a speech when you know that it is totally ineffective? That you are there talking to a gallery of about six people, I don’t quite see the point of me doing that. It's not that I'm not doing anything, I'm trying to get us out of this mess,
" he said
He refused to reveal how he spends the estimated £200,000 in allowances he's received, but some of it is spent on employing staff to run an anti-EU website, www.th-eu-nit.com
(which can’t have much of a larger audience…)
Before being elected, he served in Devon & Cornwall Police, rising to the rank of superintendent. He left the force in 1995, and then spent four years advising the ITV detective series Wycliffe.
Commenting on the disclosure, South West Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson
said he wondered why Trevor Colman stood for election in the first place: "There is a massive amount that goes on in the European Parliament and that's why most of the members are there full time, doing their jobs. I'm sorry if Trevor Colman finds it so boring, but I would have to ask the question why did he stand in the first place.
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