A former MEP who was exposed by the Sunday Telegraph in 2005 to have fiddled his expenses was yesterday jailed for two years.
Tom Wise, 61, who represented Ukip before turning independent, spent 13 months channelling the money into a bank account he secretly controlled.
Wise, of Ship Road, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, who left Ukip after the scandal, originally denied false accounting between October 14 and November 16 2004.
But during his trial, and just before Ukip leader Nigel Farage was to give evidence against him, Wise confessed.
Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC, sentencing, said: ‘This offence came to an end not because your conscience got the better of you, but only because your activities were exposed by the press, after which time you terminated the claim and repaid your ill-gotten gains in the hope of avoiding prosecution.”
In October 2005 Daniel Foggo, writing for the Sunday Telegraph, reported that Wise was claiming £36,000 a year for a researcher but was paying her just £6,000.
A court found that he had defrauded EU taxpayers of £39,000.