The noble Lord, Lord Tomlinson of EU-lovin'
So there is also very important evidence about the work of OLAF. I notice that we did not hear too much from some of the UKIP members about OLAF. That might be because OLAF is currently engaged in investigating allegations of fraud by one of UKIP's members in the European Parliament. I am glad to say that, albeit belatedly and somewhat reluctantly, UKIP was forced by the pressure of public opinion to suspend that member from its party, thus reducing its membership by a substantial proportion.
Clearly Lord Tomlinson does not read in depth anything in the papers. Let me correct some of the comments he made in the House of Lords yesterday evening. UKIP was not forced by 'the pressure of public opinion' to suspend an MEP being investigated by OLAF. The public probably aren't too much aware of it, for starters, but the truth of the matter was that as soon as the leadership team of Nigel Farage and Dr John Whittaker were made aware of an OLAF investigation into Tom Wise MEP, they started the procedures to suspend him, which have now been supported by the party's National Executive Committee.
It also hasn't 'reduced its membership by a substantial proportion'. This is, to me, a rather ambiguous statement. If he means the membership of the party, then the UK Independence Party is still gaining more and more members as the day passes. Most people are aware that the attacks on the party in the Sunday papers are non stories or lies wish are being published in a desperate attempt to stop people leaving Cameron's Conservatives in droves for the party which is the true home of libertarian people.
The noble Lords, Lord Pearson and Lord Willoughby de Broke, are the only visible and tangible oasis of peace and calm in the current UKIP panoply, with the turmoil that we see in the European Parliament. I presume that they are taking time off from advising their party on how to deal with allegations of fraud by their MEPs, apparently including the purchase of motor cars. They threaten defections. An even worse nightmare, there is a rumour that Robert Kilroy-Silk might seek to rejoin them one day. I do not know how they would react to that. With the drastic reduction in their numbers in Strasbourg, the two noble Lords will presumably have considerable advice to give their colleagues when they next see them.
This is not exactly worth of someone who is supposed to be a peer of the realm. To enter a debate about fraud in the EU, including the debates on whether Lord Kinnock of Windbag lied in a committee about Marta Andreasen, and end up slagging off a small party for having a member who is a prat shows a certain level of desperation.
As for the actual debate itself, I myself am reading Hansard with my head in my hands. It's astonishing. More to come later....