A British MEP at the centre of controversy over a company he tried to keep secret from EU officials could be in breach of Code of Conduct rules, Scrapbook has been told. UKIP’s Godfrey Bloom has been sitting on one of the European Union’s top finance committees without revealing he owns a financial advice firm.
The controversial MEP appears to have returned his declaration of financial interests (view) without bothering to fill it in at all. This document includes a section which obligates members to detail shareholdings in companies:
But as we revealed yesterday, however, Bloom has a majority shareholding in TBO Investments:
With Scrapbook’s scoop doing the rounds in Strasbourg yesterday, we may well see a complaint filed within the next 24 hours.
The communications department of the European Parliament’s Freedom and Democracy grouping was on the phone to Scrapbook this morning, adamant that damaging revelations regarding one of their MEPs were false.
But the statement given to us from controversial MEP was as follows:
“I resigned all directorships on election to the European Parliament in 2004 and unwound all my business interests.”
As we observed yesterday, Bloom did indeed resign his directorship of TBO Investments in 2004. But official documents obtained by Scrapbook (view in full here) clearly show that Bloom holds no less than 106,960 shares in TBO Investments Ltd, giving him a controlling stake in the company.
As a member of ECON, Bloom has been seeking to exert influence over European economic and monetary policy – but hiding his controlling stake in a finance firm from both EU officials and his electors.
A UKIP MEP is sitting on the European Parliament’s top finance committee without declaring a potentially conflicting interest in a secret company, Political Scrapbook can reveal. UKIP’s Godfrey Bloom, a member the influential Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), has withheld details of his investments advisory firm from EU officials.
“any financial interest that may cause a conflict of interests will … have to be disclosed”.
But Bloom’s ECON responsibilities could have a direct impact on his secret business: TBO Investments, of which Bloom is the majority shareholder, offers advice on “tax planning” whilst ECON describes its responsibilities as including, errrr, “taxation and competition policies”.
Perpetually thirsty Bloom, who Scrapbookpreviously exposed for addressing the parliament having consumed an apparently incapacitating cocktail of drink and drugs, served as director and senior manager of TBO until 2004, but has since remained the majority shareholder in the company.
The murky revelations won’t help his bid to become Humberside’s first ever police and crime commissioner.
Godfrey Bloom, MEP for the Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire region, has tweeted a video of himself captioned “Here I am in Grimsby”. Except he’s not, he’s in Brussels, standing slap bang in the middle of European Parliament.
Bloom, who previously confessed to Scrapbook that he had addressed European Parliament after consuming a cocktail of drink and drugs, is seen in the video denouncing travelers:
“They’re supposed to be travelers but they don’t travel. So they have to set up camp and be a bit of a nuisance to everybody around them”
During the 78 second speech Bloom says “I don’t know” three times, and “not sure” once. It seems that he’s gone on camera not knowing what he’s saying or where he is.
“I don’t have much to do with travelers” he admits; this coming from a man who spent over £11,000 on travel in under 6 months.
A former UKIP staffer and parliamentary candidate at the last general election claims to be writing a book revealing dodgy goings-on at the core of the party –having branded her defection from the Conservatives “the biggest mistake of my life“.
Jasna Badzak defected to UKIP in 2008, along with a swathe of Tories from Westminster, and stood in the Westminster North constituency in the 2010 elections. She then worked for six months as a press officer in the London office of MEP Gerard Batten.
In a series of messages on Twitter, Badzak has claimed that she will be making revelations about the alleged racism and corruption of top UKIP figures.
I was prominent Tory, stood for Tories, defected to #UKIP,stood in GE2010 for UKIP the biggest mistake of my life @consfuture @conservatives
Speaking to Political Scrapbook this afternoon, Ms Badzak said:
”UKIP solely exists to put a few people in the position of MEP to steal as much money as possible for themselves.”
Apparently her book will be out before the 2014 EU Parliament elections, in which Nigel Farage’s party hopes to improve on its second place coup in the 2009 poll. When contacted, UKIP refused to comment.
A former candidate for the Tories who was sacked for posing with a golliwog doll is attempting to become a police commissioner. Bill Etheridge is to represent UKIP on ballot papers in the ethnically diverse West Midlands region.
Along with his wife Star, Etheridge was forced out of the Conservative Party last year after they posted deliberately provocative photos to Facebook as part of a so-called “campaign against political correctness”.
Perhaps Etheridge should conduct his campaign in “harmless” blackface?
The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) election in Humberside is shaping up to be quite a fight, with John Prescott joined in the fray by one of UKIP’s most “colourful characters” Godfrey Bloom (pictured above with Nigel Farage).
Prescott has backed calls from independent candidates for a limited publicly-funded mailshot to even up the playing field for those standing without the support of big parties. The move has prompted the first attack of the campaign from Bloom, with a press release claimining:
“Unlike Prescott, Godfrey is appealing for donors, rather than pilfering from the public purse. Prescott has called for public funding for his leaflets and mailshots.”
In a system described as “perverse”, candidates must fork out for a £5,000 deposit but receive no democratic assistance in getting their message out to voters across an entire county or city-region. This lack of support stands in marked contrast with the free postage provided to candidates in Westminster or the European Parliament — such as … errr … Godfrey Bloom.
But when Scrapbook phoned Bloom – who in February admitted to us that he was “drugged up” when making a slurred speech in the European Parliament – the MEP set a record for the quickest U-turn in PPC elections.
Having himself benefited from thousands of pounds taxpayer support for delivery of his leaflets, Bloom performed a reverse ferret — and told us he actually backed Prescott’s stand on mailshots:
“I would support assistance with the delivery of election addresses in the same manner as Westminster and the Brussels parliament.”
He might want to start reading his own press releases.
David Potts with local politicos at South Tyneside Civic Ball (not a bunga bunga party)
A UKIP councillor seeking the party’s nomination for Northumbria Police Commissioner invited a constituent to a “Bunga Bunga” party — a phrase used by disgraced former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi to describe alleged sex parties.
David Potts, who sits on South Tyneside council, bragged on Twitter about his “W&S” and “bunga bunga” parties, and even invited a member of the public to one.
But Potts has denied attending sex parties, claiming that “W&S” stood for “wine & sandwiches” rather than “wives & swingers”. He said:
“My understanding is that [bunga bunga] is merely a social gathering. The phrase is used among my circle. I may have misunderstood its perceived meaning.”
As well as his, erm, recreational activities, Potts has acquired a reputation as something of an online thug, attacking the council as a “poxy backwater” and making derogatory comments about council employees.
Potts also upset fellow councillors, when he asked porn star Mercedes Ashley to congratulate a colleague on being re-elected.
“As far as I am aware,” said the borough’s only Conservative councillor Jeff Milburn, “I have not been contacted by any American porn stars.”