The leader of the Conservative MEPs, Giles Chichester, has channelled almost £500,000 in parliamentary allowances through a family firm founded by his father, the yachtsman Sir Francis Chichester.
Company documents reveal that since 1996 Chichester has paid the company £445,000 for services “in connection with secretarial and assistant services for the European parliament, constituency and committee work”.
What is of course so delicious is that the company reports a loss….and also that it pays its directors who are, umm, Chichester and his wife.
Since 1996, while recording a net loss, the firm has received annual payments ranging from £23,057 to £52,745.
Over the same period, company directors have received £158,938, with £47,792 paid out since 2002 when Chichester and his wife were sole directors.
The company also shelled out £40,000 in rent to Chichester in annual payments of £5,000 between 1996 and 2003.
Of course there is no implication whatsoever that the staff costs paid in led to the directors\’ fees coming out, the amounts were all entirely rightly paid over for respectively secretarial support and for their work with the business.