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Conservative MEPs welcome Bashir defection

The defection of Amjad Bashir's to the Conservatives has been welcomed by his new colleagues in Brussels.

Ashley Fox, leader of the Tory MEPs, said:

I am a great admirer of Amjad. He is a straightforward, down-to-earth character and he has an energetic and practical approach to politics. Having seen Ukip close up, he knows they cannot deliver anything the British people want or need. Amjad sees that only the Conservatives can deliver reform, renegotiation and a referendum in Europe and he will be joining me and my colleagues in campaigning hard to return David Cameron to Number 10 in May.

– Ashley Fox, MEP

Syed Kamall, leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament, added:

Like us, Amjad believes in genuine equality of opportunity and the right of people to go just as far as their talent and hard work will take them. He is a natural Conservative and I am delighted that he is back where he belongs.

– Syed Kamall, MEP

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Labour MP blasts 'revolving door' between Ukip and Tories

A Labour MP has criticised the "revolving door between Ukip and the Tories" and says neither party can be trusted after Amjad Bashir's defection.

The Yorkshire MEP says he swapped Farage's party for the Conservatives, but Ukip claim he has been suspended.

Jon Trickett MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister Without Portfolio, said

This latest defection shows more than ever there is a revolving door between Ukip and the Tories. Conservative MPs defect to Ukip and Ukip MEPs flee back the other way when Nigel Farage says they have questions to answer. Ukip and Tories share policies as well as people - both parties want to increase NHS privatisation and cut taxes for those at the very top. All that’s clear is that neither party can be trusted to stand up for hardworking families.

– Jon Trickett MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister Without Portfolio
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Bashir: Ukip has become party of ruthless self-interest

Ukip MEP Amjad Bashir has heavily criticised his former party colleagues. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

Ukip MEP Amjad Bashir, who was suspended by the party and defected to the Conservatives, has heavily criticised his former Ukip colleagues.

Speaking in the Telegraph Mr Bashir said Ukip had become a "party of ruthless self-interest", was "pretty amateur" and had a "ridiculous" lack of policies.

He also said the party was "delusional" about its chances of winning seats in May.

After almost three years as a party member, I realise that Ukip is more concerned with furthering its own interests as a political party than delivering for the British people.

– Amjad Bashir
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Ukip MEP Amjad Bashir defects to the Conservatives

Ukip MEP Amjad Bashir has defected to the Conservative party. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

Ukip MEP Amjad Bashir, who was suspended by the party for "extremely serious" issues, has defected to the Conservatives.

Prime Minister David Cameron told the Telegraph he was "absolutely delighted" at the Yorkshire and Humber MEP's decision.

News of the defection emerged shortly after Ukip suspended the MEP, who was the party's communities spokesman, over allegations including "unanswered financial and employment questions".

A senior Conservative source dismissed the move as a "desperate attempt" to play down the impact of Mr Bashir's decision.

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Ukip suspends MEP over 'extremely serious' issues

Ukip MEP Amjad Bashir has been suspended pending investigations. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

Ukip MEP Amjad Bashir has been suspended pending investigations into "extremely serious" issues including unanswered financial and employment questions, a party spokesman said.

The spokesman added: "The UK Independence Party has a zero-tolerance policy and takes the matters at hand extremely seriously. The allegations against Mr Bashir are of a grave nature and we will be forwarding our evidence obtained so far to the police.

UKIP will not tolerate anyone abusing their positions in the party, as we have a firm commitment to differing ourselves from the existing political classes."

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UKIP suspend Yorkshire & Humber MEP

UKIP has suspended Yorkshire and the Humber MEP Amjad Bashir, pending an investigation into "extremely serious financial issues".

Amjad Bashir

The sixty two year old, who moved to Bradford with his family when he was eight , was elected to the European Parliament last year and is UKIP's small and medium business spokesman.

UKIP say they have suspended Mr Bashir while party officials carry out investigations into a number of issues which it considers to be extremely serious.

Mr Bashir has been informed of the specifics of the investigations which include unanswered financial and employment questions, interference with UKIP candidate selection processes and a continued affiliation with Mujeeb Bhutto, despite the party’s protests against Mr Bhutto’s involvement with Mr Bashir or UKIP.

"The UK Independence Party has a zero-tolerance policy and takes the matters at hand extremely seriously.

"The allegations against Mr Bashir are of a grave nature and we will be forwarding our evidence obtained so far to the police.

"UKIP will not tolerate anyone abusing their positions in the party, as we have a firm commitment to differing ourselves from the existing political classes.

"As a result, Mr Bashir’s involvement with the party was suspended today with immediate effect pending further investigations."

– UKIP spokesman
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