TODAY we name TWO MORE money-grabbing Tory Euro MPs who are cashing in on the great Brussels gravy train first uncovered by the News of the World.
Top Tory John Purvis has siphoned up to £1MILLION of public cash meant to pay staff into his own firm.
And a second Tory MEP, Sajjad Karim, will face questions after paying his wife £26,000 A YEAR out of the public purse to act as his assistant-while she was working as a teacher.
These revelations come after our two-month investigation blew open the long-suspected scandal in the Brussels Parliament.
At last the gravy train is crashing off the rails-and already two top Tories have quit cosy jobs after our undercover probe showed:
- SENIOR Tory Giles Chichester PAYING up to £445,000 of taxpayers' cash into his family map firm.
- BRIT MEPs, led by Chichester, JET-SETTING to holiday paradises at the taxpayers' expense.
- A STRING of high-profile Tories HANDING their wives and children hundreds of thousands of pounds to work as their "assistants".
- HIGH-LIVING Euro MP Tom Wise BRAGGING how he milks thousands every week in dodgy allowance and travel claims and
- GRASPING politicians, including Chichester, filling their boots with FREEBIES paid for by big businesses eager to cosy up to them.
Our findings sent shockwaves through Brussels and led to Chichester quitting as the Tories' European leader. Party chief whip Den Dover also resigned his job this week after paying his wife and daughter £758,000 of taxpayers' cash.
Conservative leader David Cameron has now been forced to send his own sleazebuster out to Brussels to clean up his party's act.
Neil O'Brien, director of campaign group Open Europe, said: "At last the wheels are coming off the Brussels gravy train.
"Finally people are waking up to the scale of the abuse after it was exposed by the News of the World."
Now Scottish MEP PURVIS will be facing questions after paying up to £120,000 a year in taxpayer-funded expenses to Purvis and Co. That breaks strict Brussels rules because he is a salary-paid partner in the company.
And top-secret pay records obtained by the News of the World suggest he could have creamed off £1million in 14 years as an MEP.
Files show Purvis has been paying the staff allowance into his firm for years, certainly as far back as 2002-at £4,178 A MONTH.
With annual payments in recent years up to £120,000 and up to £50,000 from the previous terms, it is believed the total could hit £1m.
That dwarfs the £445,000 payment since 1996 that cost Chichester his job. And Purvis could be forced to pay back more than £500,000-cash he wrongly shelled out after 2003, when rules banning payments to MEPs' own firms were laid down.
With his snout firmly in the Brussels trough, Purvis is hardly short of euros. Along with the income from his firm and his £67,000-a-year MEP salary, he is also paid for a string of other posts.
They include owning Brigton and Gilmerton Farms with its rental houses in St Andrews, Scotland, and being a partner in farming firm Brigton Partners.
He also declares being a partner in London investment management firm Life Science Capital and non-executive chairman of Belgrave Capital Management.
Sajjad KARIM, who paid wife Zahida £26,000 a year as his assistant, is the other Tory MEP whose actions are being questioned.
His wife was also working two days a week at Great Harwood primary school in Blackburn, Lancs, while being paid to help run his office. Karim, an MEP since 2004, hit headlines last year when he defected from the Lib Dems. He was the first Muslim Brit elected to the EU Parliament.
His former constituency manager David Smithson said Karim's wife was employed to run his office but added: "She only came in for two or three hours a month.
"Other MEPs have people in the same position but they do 35-45 hours a week. Zahida didn't even have a desk in the office.
"Last summer I said to him, 'We need to review what Zahida is paid'. It had been niggling at me for a while. Very quickly he told me, 'That's none of your business, it is off limits.'"
Karim insisted he was no longer paying his wife and was looking to replace her. He insisted she had worked at least three days a week on Brussels business and he had paid her the same as her predecessor for the same hours.
He said: "My wife has been paid £26,000 a year for a bit more than three days a week. To say she could have done what she did in just two or three hours a month is just completely unacceptable.
"She used to go into the office once a week. The rest of the time she had a room as an office within our house."
Do you have any information about greedy MEPs? Call us on 020 7782 1001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember Saj, the North West MEP? That's right, he's the former Lib Dem MEP who jumped ship to the Tories when he got scared he might lose his place on the EU gravy train.
I'm pretty sure there will be more, much more to come about various MEPs. After all, MEPs do make MPs look like cost cutters.