MEP arrested over 'fraud' claims
An MEP has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud the European Parliament.
West Midlands MEP Nikki Sinclaire, 43, was arrested along with three others on Wednesday, Ukip MEP for the West Midlands Mike Nattrass said.
He said the three others who were arrested by West Midlands Police were employees who worked with the independent MEP.
West Midlands Police confirmed a 43-year-old woman was arrested at a police station in Birmingham on Wednesday along with three other people on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud the European Parliament.
Two women, aged 55 and 39, and a 19-year-old man were arrested at addresses in Solihull, Worcester and Birmingham and were taken to a police station for questioning.
Searches were carried out at the addresses of the four people by officers investigating an allegation made in 2010 regarding allowances and expenses, a police spokeswoman said.
All four have since been released on police bail, she added.
On her Twitter page, a spokesman for Miss Sinclaire said the MEP attended the police station in Birmingham voluntarily and co-operated fully with the police. "This is particularly frustrating to Ms Sinclaire who is eager to clear her name and has nothing to hide," tweets on the MEP's page said.
The MEP "disputes all allegations put towards her or her staff", which were "old allegations made by a disgruntled ex-employee who himself is under investigation and whose motives are entirely political to pursue his advancement in Ukip", they continued.
Due to the police investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time, it added. It said Miss Sinclaire and her office would continue to "fully co-operate with the police on this matter".