Former Ukip MEP Nikki Sinclaire charged with money laundering and misconduct in public office following expenses claims probe

Ms Sinclaire lost her seat in the European Parliament earlier this year

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The Independent Online

A former Ukip MEP who lost her seat earlier this year has been charged with money laundering and misconduct in public office.

Nikki Sinclaire, who had represented the West Midlands in Europe since she was elected as a Ukip candidate in June 2009, was charged with the offences relating to her expenses claims, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

She will appear before Birmingham Magistrates Court on 17 September to hear fraud claims relating to the period October 2009 to July 2010.

A spokesperson for the CPS said it is alleged that Ms Sinclaire "used funds paid into her bank account by the European Parliament in respect of false travelling expenses claims".

Ms Sinclaire lost her seat during May's European elections after leaving Ukip and standing for the We Demand A Referendum Now party.

West Midlands Police, which is bringing the charges, said it had been working jointly with officers from the European Anti-Fraud Office over the course of the investigation.

Ms Sinclaire, 45, was originally arrested on 22 February 2012 and has been on police bail since. A spokesperson for West Midlands Police said three other people arrested at the time would face no further action.