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Ukip expels MEP over invoice row

MEP Janice Atkinson has been expelled by Ukip after her chief of staff was filmed apparently asking for an inflated invoice to claim on European expenses.

A disciplinary panel made the decision to kick out Ms Atkinson - she had been due to contest a Commons seat for it on May 7 - along with her assistant Christine Hewitt, a party spokesman said.

"Janice Atkinson MEP and Christine Hewitt (assistant to Janice Atkinson) have been found to have brought the party into disrepute," he said.

"As a result they have been expelled from UK Independence Party. They have 14 days to appeal."

Ms Atkinson said she intended to appeal against the decision.

"I am deeply disappointed by today's decision and fully intend to appeal," she said in a statement.

"I was elected to represent the constituents of the south-east of England and I will continue to work tirelessly on their behalf and for the best interests of our country."

Ms Hewitt was filmed by the Sun allegedly obtaining an invoice from a restaurant for a sum more than three times the actual cost of an event, apparently with the intention of claiming it back from Brussels funds.

The footage is being reviewed by Kent and Essex serious crime directorate.

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