Lib Dem MEPs' 'reform and transparency' rankings

by Stephen Tall on May 27, 2009

Ahh, the European elections – those of you who’ve been paying especially close attention to the news in recent weeks may have caught a nano-second of coverage of the issues which will be decided by voters across the EU next week.

If so, you might have come across an analysis by the Open Europe think-tank – more about whom here – who this week published a ranking of all 785 Members of the European Parliament, scoring their record on promoting transparency and reform in the EU over the last five-year term.

The criteria Open Europe used for their scoring system are published here, and you can view the full Excel spreadsheet of all MEPs by clicking here. We’ve extracted the information relating to the UK’s 11 Lib Dem MEPs (out of 78), as below:

  • (4th out of 78) Ms Diana Wallis MEP UK Liberal Democrats, score = 42 (out of a maximum 60)
  • (6th) Ms Fiona Hall MEP UK Liberal Democrat = 40
  • (9th) Ms Liz Lynne MEP UK Liberal Democrats = 39
  • (12th) Mr Andrew Duff MEP UK Liberal Democrats = 38
  • (12th) Mr Bill Newton-Dunn MEP UK Liberal Democrats = 38
  • (18th) Ms Elspeth Attwooll MEP UK Liberal Democrats = 37
  • (23rd) Mr Graham Watson MEP UK Liberal Democrats = 36
  • (28th) Mr Chris Davies MEP UK Liberal Democrats = 35
  • (48th) The Baroness Ludford MEP UK Liberal Democrats = 29
  • (53rd) Ms Sharon Bowles MEP* UK Liberal Democrat = 28
  • (66th out of 78) The Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne MEP UK Liberal Democrats = 23
  • * Sharon replaced Chris Huhne on his election to the House of Commons in May 2005.

    It is, I guess, to our group’s credit that more than half their number appear in the top 20. It’s certainly a relief to know that no Lib Dem MEP appears in Open Europe’s list of “MEPs arguably ‘Unfit for public office’”. However, two Tories and two Ukippers do make the EU-wide list of eight named and shamed:

    Mr Ashley Mote MEP – United Kingdom – Independent, elected as Ukip
    In 2007 Mote was convicted of 21 charges of benefit fraud84 for falsely claiming for than £65,000 in benefits. He was given a 9 month prison sentence, which he served, but because it was less than 12 months he was allowed to return as an MEP.

    Mr Giles Chichester MEP – United Kingdom – Conservative
    Giles Chichester paid more than £400,000 in European Parliament office expenses into a company of which he was a director.

    Mr Tom Wise MEP – United Kingdom – UK Independence Party
    In April 2009 Wise and his researcher Lindsay Jenkins were charged with fraud for the misuse of thousands of pounds worth of expenses. If Wise is convicted, the maximum sentence for false accounting is seven years and for money laundering it is 14 years.

    Mr Densmore Dover MEP – United Kingdom – Conservative
    The European Parliament decided that Den Dover, who resigned as chief whip in June 2008, had breached its rules and demanded that he pay back just over £500,000 in expenses. According to the Times, an official enquiry found that “Mr Dover had a conflict of interest in using M P Holdings as a “service provider” for secretarial and parliamentary assistant work. He had declared “no financial interest” in the family-owned company that employs his wife, Kathleen, as secretary and daughter, Amanda, as part-time parliamentary assistant. His wife and daughter are also company directors.”