Eastern Daily Press exposes MEP's expenses scam

The EDP’s splash about the MEP

An investigation by the Eastern Daily Press has led to the deselection of a Conservative MEP ahead of next month’s elections to the European Parliament.

The paper revealed that MEP Bashir Khanbhai had wrongly claimed as much as £15,000 in travel expenses.

In February a Daily Press reporter was asked to check out the address of Khanbhai to ensure he had solid roots in Norfolk. The paper found that the address in Norwich where the MEP claimed to live was just a mailing address and he actually lived in Kent.

The paper’s political editor, Chris Fisher, was tipped off that Khanbhai had been deselected by his party.

Although this turned out not to be true at that stage, Fisher revealed that Khanbhai had paid back £7,000 of the disputed expenses.

Khanbhai was deselected just 24 hours before the close of nominations for candidates in the 10 June elections.

EDP deputy editor James Ruddy said: “This was a bit of good, old-fashioned investigative journalism. Many hours have been spent on phones and walking the streets, liaising with colleagues in Brussels to discover the truth behind the story.

“It certainly helped having our political editor Chris Fisher in the House of Commons – his contacts and knowledge certainly helped to draw out the details.”

By Sarah Lagan

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