Press Statements from Sir Robert

VISIT TO THE USA, NOVEMBER 2006

The “Sunday Times” has published a report which is tendentious and misleading, implying as it does that I have broken the rules and abused taxpayers’ money. I reject this absolutely and have abided by the European Parliament’s procedures at all times.

I was invited to the USA by Republican Party representatives some time before the mid-term elections. The suggestion came originally from the then US Ambassador to the EU.

Having accepted this, I consulted the European Parliamentary authorities and was given clearance to use the relevant allowance, which is for just such a purpose. Subsequently, I claimed about £2000 as a contribution to the cost of my flights, hotel and internal travel. I paid the balance myself.

Upon my return, I submitted the relevant receipts to the Parliamentary authorities, which were accepted as entirely proper.

Whilst in the USA, I attended my son’s wedding and, of course, was accompanied by my wife. As would be expected, my own expenses for the wedding were paid from my own pocket, as were all my wife’s throughout the trip.

Please click here to view existing MEP guidelines on allowances as of April 2008.


For the Record

My wife Dulcie was a qualified secretary when I met her in 1968. For 30 years, during my time as an MP, Minister and MEP, she has been my full-time secretary, paid the market rate. This has always been openly declared and well-known.

She has also been active in the community for many years, as is the case with many thousands of local councillors who give of their time, over and above their normal working environment. Dulcie is no different, except perhaps that she works during too much of her “leisure” time!

My son worked full-time in Brussels for a period after leaving University and was paid at the same – if not slightly lower rate – as other Parliamentary assistants of his age and experience. He was head-hunted away on a much higher salary and ceased working for me in 2003.

These employments were legally contracted and registered with the Parliamentary authorities, who have approved and audited them each year.

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