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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.

West Midlands UKIP MEP vows region's party won't concede defeat until the count is over

Nigel Farage has said it looks like Remain will win the EU referendum.

The UKIP leader and key figure calling for Britain to leave the EU told Sky News that "it looks like Remain will edge it".

However, Dudley MEP Bill Etheridge says UKIP in the West Midlands will hold out until the final vote is counted.

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Kettering Conservative MP flanks new UKIP member as he takes seat in Parliament

Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Conservative MP for Kettering, Philip Hollobone, acted as a sponsor for the new UKIP MP Mark Reckless as he took his seat in Parliament today.

Another East Midlands MP, Stewart Jackson, the Conservative member for Peterborough has tweeted that any Tory MP who defects to UKIP is "frankly insane".

Northants MP suggests Conservatives and UKIP should work together

Peter Bone, the MP for Wellingborough and Rushden, has tweeted that it could be time for UKIP and the Conservatives to work together.

It follows a second Westminster seat for UKIP in yesterday's by-election in Rochester and Strood.

Mr Bone has denied that he is considering defecting to UKIP.

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