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As a new scandal emerges, here's how many Ukip MEPs have served time in prison

Guy Bentley
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Ukip in fresh expenses scandal (Source: Getty)

More Ukip MEPs have served time in prison than there are Tory MPs in Scotland.

It may be an overly easy comparison as the Conservatives only have one MP north of the border, but the last 24 hours show Ukip's penchant for scandal doesn't seem to be dying down as we head towards polling day.

Janice Atkinson, Ukip's MEP for the South East, was suspended yesterday after allegations of "serious financial nature" surfaced. It follows an investigation by the Sun into expenses claimed by a member of Atkinson's staff.

An invoice showed a claim of £3,150 related to a fringe event at Ukip's spring conference. but the event allegedly cost £950. Ukip leader Nigel Farage labelled it "stupid and dishonest" on LBC this morning. While there has been no formal investigation into the scandal, it isn't the first time Ukip MEPs have been in trouble over expenses claims.

Since 1999, two Ukip MEPs have been sent to prison. Ashley Mote was jailed for benefit fraud in 2007 and served nine months. The judge presiding over his trial described Mote as "a truly dishonest man".

Tom Wise, elected as a Ukip MEP in 2004, pleaded guilty to charges of expenses fraud and was sentenced to two years in prison. The judge who passed down the sentence said:

It is no exaggeration to say that you had hardly got your feet beneath your desk as an MEP before you were planning to defraud the parliament to which you were elected and the people you were elected to serve. This was very deliberate and blatant dishonesty.

You did not fall into this offence as a result of some unfortunate combination of unforeseen circumstances which happened to suddenly present you with temptation. You knew the system of expenses inside out and this was a claim you devised and planned with some care.

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