31st January 2014: Earlier this week, Andrew Brons sent the following letter to the Editor of the Daily Telegraph.
UKIP MEPs discovered to have appalling attendance, voting and speaking records in the European Parliament have thought up several cunning excuses.
They would always be on the losing side, so their vote is inevitably ineffective. If they bothered to read the amendments, several of them would increase the powers of member states and some of these are passed.
There are few people in the public gallery or the chamber so they will not be listened to. Many members watch debates from their rooms and members of the public and journalists watch the debates on their computers. Not all MEPs are irrevocably on the Pro-EU side.
Some issues are so important that they cross party and group lines and all MEPs need to show where they stand. There was recently a vote on measures to combat female genital mutilation and Mr Farage and some others had already left the chamber.
I am quite as opposed to the EU as UKIP; I campaigned against the EEC before we entered it and against our continued membership in the 1975 referendum. However, we are paid to carry out our mandate – to oppose the EU in its committees and in its plenary sessions.
UKIP has never announced to the electorate, before a European Parliamentary election, that it would not take up its seats. That would be an honourable policy but is not their policy. They turn up when they can be bothered and leave when they become bored.
MEP for Yorkshire & the Humber
(British Democratic Party)