Ex-Ukip MEP denies fiddling taxpayers' money

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A British former MEP denied today that he fiddled taxpayers' cash.

Tom Wise, 61, who used to represent Ukip but became an independent, and his former researcher Lindsay Jenkins, 62, are both accused of false accounting and using criminal property.

The pair appeared at a 15-minute plea and case management hearing at London's Southwark Crown Court and spoke only to confirm their names and deny the charges.

The first alleges that they "falsified a document, namely a contract for the provision of services and an application for secretarial assistance allowance and invoices" between December 14 2004, and December 14 the following year.

The second count claims that during the same period they received money "from the European Parliament intended for use as payments for secretarial services".

Wise, of Ship Road, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, who had been an MEP for the East of England since 2004, and Jenkins, of Queens Club Gardens, west Kensington, west London, will return to court next Friday.

A further directions hearing will then be held and a trial date fixed.

They remain on bail.