Former Ukip MEP Ashley Mote denies fraud

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A former Ukip MEP from Hampshire has pleaded not guilty to misconduct in a public office by fraudulently claiming more than £300,000 in parliamentary assistance allowance.

Ashley Mote, 79, appeared before the Old Bailey where he denied one count of misconduct in public office, one of acquiring criminal property, three of obtaining a money transfer by deception, three of false accounting and one of fraud.

The details of the first charge of misconduct in a public office stated that between June 10 2004 and June 30 2009, while a member of the European Parliament, he made fraudulent claims for parliamentary assistance allowance amounting to more than £300,000.

The alleged false claims related to legal advice and research, the court heard.

Mr Justice Stuart-Smith granted Mote, from Binsted, continued bail until his trial at Southwark Crown Court which is due to start on April 20.

The defendant was initially elected as an MEP for Ukip, but was kicked out of the party days after the 2004 election, and was an independent until he decided not to stand for election in 2009.