Police investigating UKIP MEP Janice Atkinson over ‘financial irregularities’

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Senior UKIP MEP Janice Atkinson has been suspended by her party over alleged “financial fraud” – and is facing a police investigation.

The Member of the European Parliament for the South East had been set to stand for Parliament in Folkestone and Hythe, and pledged last month to scrap the role of Minister for Women and Equalities.

A spokesman for UKIP said: “The party is incredibly disappointed with Ms. Atkinson, who appears to have exercised extremely poor judgement in acting in a way that the party has never, and would never condone.

“The party has acted swiftly and immediately, and just as we showed when we suspended another MEP for financial irregularities, we always maintain a zero tolerance attitude towards acts of this nature.​”

A spokesperson for Kent Police said: “The Kent and Essex serious crime directorate has received a report of fraud. The allegation is being reviewed and the investigation is ongoing.

“You’ll appreciate this investigation is at a very early stage. Kent Police will not be releasing further details at this time.”

Speaking on LBC, Nigel Farage said: “I was deeply shocked when I saw it. I thought it was one of the most incredibly stupid and dishonest things I’ve ever seen in my life.

He continued: “We have suspended Janice Atkinson and we will hold a disciplinary hearing as soon as possible which will be chaired independently by somebody from the legal profession, and there will be representatives of the national executive of UKIP there.

“And we will ask the questions and we will judge. It would be a mistake for me to prejudge this but on the evidence of what that member of staff did it does not look very good.”