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Former UKIP MEP cleared of expenses fraud

Nikki Sinclaire outside of court Credit: ITV News Central

A former Ukip MEP has been found not guilty of fiddling £3,250 in European parliamentary expenses claims and laundering the cash.

Nikki Sinclaire, who represented the West Midlands region in Brussels and Strasbourg until 2014, had denied deliberately submitting 10 dishonest claims for road travel she never made when she had flown more cheaply.

The 47-year-old and her lawyers maintained that instead the expenses had been "deliberately corrupted" by her former office aide, John Ison.

Mr Ison had admitted in court sending a message to another party about the 47-year-old, which read: "Ok, Plan B - fraud."

The jury at Birmingham Crown Court heard there had been at atmosphere of "hostility" between Ms Sinclaire and Ukip leader Nigel Farage, and that Mr Ison had passed information about her to the senior party figure.

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