Former Tameside MEP Den Dover could face jail

Den Dover, the former Tameside Conservative MEP, has been ordered to pay back £345,289 to the European Parliament and could now face prosecution for fraud.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg today dismissed attempts by Dover to avoid repayment of the money that the European Parliament stated was wrongly claimed between 1999 and 2008.

Dover made the following illegitimate payments from the allowance paid to MEPs to meet the costs of paying for staff:

  • £101,068 for three cars
  • £15,404 for office supplies and equipment, £89,235 for postage and stationery, £100,735 for the costs of rent and renovation of Den Dover’s ‘office’, which just happened to be in his private home, and £20,767 for telephone costs (MEPs get a separate allowance for all these office expenses, and none of them are supposed to be paid from the staff budget)
  • £17,880 for ‘entertainment expenses’
  • £200 in donations to the Conservative Party

The Parliament also sought the repayment of £167,903 it claimed represented the costs of VAT that had not been paid. But the Court concluded that this was a matter for dispute between the British authorities and the former MEP.

Dover was ordered to pay his own costs.

Tameside’s Lib Dem MEP Chris Davies, a longstanding campaigner for tighter rules on the use of public money, is calling on the police to investigate former Tory MEP Den Dover and believes he could go to jail.

Chris, who in 2008 made public the contents of a secret auditors’ report into financial malpractices by European MPs, commented: “Most MEPs know the difference between right and wrong when spending public money, but Dover treated the European Parliament like a private piggy bank and let greed overtake honour.

“The Parliament has been shamefully weak in the past and has too often turned a blind eye to abuses, but it is now demonstrating that such behaviour will no longer be tolerated.

“I am calling on the police here to investigate whether Dover’s actions were fraudulent and warrant criminal prosecution. I expect the parliamentary authorities in Brussels to provide them with full cooperation. In my view Dover tried to cheat the public purse and should go to jail.”

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