Former MEP to face trial over fraud claims

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A FORMER Ukip MEP from Hampshire is to stand trial accused of fraudulently claiming tens of thousands of pounds in parliamentary assistance allowance.

Ashley Mote, 79, denies a string of fraud-related offences including forgery and obtaining a money transfer by deception.

He appeared at London’s Southwark Crown Court and pleaded not guilty to a total of 12 offences alleged to have taken place between November 2004 and July 2010.

One charge states that he dishonestly obtained money transfers to the value of £97,531.42 by falsely representing that he was able to claim secretarial or parliamentary assistance allowance for that amount in accordance with the rules of the European Parliament.

Mote, from Binsted, denies four counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception, three of false accounting, two of fraud, and one each of acquiring criminal property, concealing criminal property and forgery.

Justice Stuart-Smith granted Mote bail until April 20. The defendant was kicked out of Ukip days after the 2004 election, and was an independent until he decided not to stand in 2009.