Roll over Den Dover

Andy McSmith

Nobody, anywhere seems to have a word to say in defence of Den Dover, the MEP who was expelled from the Conservative Party for using his expensive account to misdirect £500,000 to his family (except for a lone blogger on ConservativeHome who says that he worked for his constituents in North West England.) He does not have a word to say for himself. He has not answered press enquiries, and though his website declares that “I want to keep you up to date with developments in the European Parliament and my work…” You search the site in vain for any information about this latest startling development or how it might affect his work.

Dover has been caught doing a ‘Derek Conway’, on a grander scale. Conway, it will be recalled, paid £260,000 to members of his immediate family, over six years. Dover paid £758,000 in nine years to a company that provided secretarial services, of which the directors were his wife, Kathleen, and daughter, Amanda. He is likely to have to pay £500,000 of it back. Pocketing half a million quid that does not belong to you is spectacularly greedy, to say the least.

I suspect that there is more of this in the European Parliament than has ever come to light, more than will ever be found in the House of Commons, for the simple reason that MPs know that they are under constant public scrutiny, and very few have the combination of brass nerve and greed that Conway displayed. In the European Parliament, there is more of a feeling that you can get away with it, because no one is watching.

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