The MEPs’ Code of Conduct
Posted by jonathanfryer on Thursday, 27th November, 2008
Today I signed and sent off the Liberal Democrat Code of Conduct for (prospective) MEPs, which has been drafted to ensure that the highest standards of public service are maintained by the LibDem Group (LDEPP) in the European Parliament. Without mentioning any names, there have been spectacular examples of the misuse of Euro-parliamentary allowances by some Conservative MEPs in particular and the general record of some of the people who got elected on the UKIP ticket is worthy of a Jeffrey Archer novel. It is essential that LibDem MEPs adhere to the stricter guidelines now being finalised by the European Parliament regarding the Payment of Expenses and Allowances to Members (PEAM), details of which will shorty be published on the European Parliament’s website.
The activities of MEPs tend to get scant coverage in the British Press, except when scandal is involved, reinforcing the distorted impression among the general public that people go into European politics to ‘join the gravy train’. Chris Davies, LibDem MEP for North West England, has done a fine job at exposing some of the worst abuses (to the annoyance of some of his colleagues in the European Parliament). And Nick Clegg, as party leader, is quite right to insist that LibDem MEPs should lead by example.