UKIP MEP urges Baird to stop “pouring taxpayers’ cash down the drain”

– Arnott accuses Baird of being a ‘graduate of the Tony Blair School of Economics’

–  New figures reveal Northumbria police spent £165,681 in 2013/2014 on two external contracts to companies providing translation services.


Labour’s Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, has been urged to ‘stop pouring taxpayers cash down the drain’, by UKIP’s Euro MP, Jonathan Arnott.

The call comes as Baird released a survey asking residents whether they would be prepared to ‘pay more for policing’.

Baird is responsible for setting the police precept – the amount everyone pays for policing in their council tax bills – the maximum it can be raised without the need for a referendum is 1.99%.

Mr Arnott, UKIP’s local Euro MP, said “Ms Baird is clearly a graduate of the Tony Blair School of Economics – here she is wishing to push up people’s taxes whilst under here watch taxpayers’ money is being poured down the drain. Only last month we heard how £10,428 was needed to repair police cars after 77 fuelling errors, currently Northumbria Police Force are advertising for a ‘Corporate Communications Adviser’ on a salary of up to £28,000, whilst continuing to splash tens of thousands of pounds each year on third party translators. The situation is an utter farce”.

Recent figures unveiled in an FOI request to Northumbria Police shows that the force have two external contracts – one for telephone services (Language Line), and one for face to face interpreting and translation (ITL) on an as-needed basis.

In 2013/14, £165,681 was spent on these services.

Northumbria Police Force were criticised in 2011 for taking a delivery of a £50,000 ‘steel ball in a hula hoop’ sculpture on the day staff were told 450 jobs are to go.

Arnott added “At a time where front line jobs have been cut, we need to take a long hard look at paper-pushing backroom staff, who are often on inflated salaries, to ensure our streets are kept safe and we that we get the best possible value for the taxpayer”.


Jonathan Arnott MEP selected to stand for Parliament in Easington

UKIP have selected their North East MEP, Jonathan Arnott, to fight the Easington constituency at this year’s General Election.

Branch members met last Friday evening to vote on potential candidates who had put their name forward to be considered as the party’s candidate.

Following the event Mr Arnott said “It is an honour to stand in the constituency where I live, and to provide a voice to those who have been completely neglected by the Labour Party across the area. UKIP want to scrap tax on minimum wage jobs, scrap the bedroom tax and protect the people’s health service which was so heavily privatised under the last Labour government.”


Jonathan Arnott MEP on ‘deeply disturbing’ Lib Dem Councillor remarks regarding alleged Tyneside sex attack victim  

Reacting to the news that a Lib Dem Cllr suggested an alleged Tyneside sex attack victim was too ugly to be targeted, Jonathan Arnott MEP said:

“There is much about this case that is deeply disturbing.  For an elected councillor to describe a woman as ‘too ugly’ to be raped is deeply disturbing and distressing.  Frankly, comments like that have no place in politics.  He has resigned from the Lib Dems; he should resign from the Council altogether.

“I can’t comment on suggestions by Italian police that she might have ‘made it up’ because I’m not in possession of the full facts of the case.  But this shows the danger of the European Arrest Warrant: thanks to Cameron signing back up to it, British citizens can still be extradited to face trial abroad without a British court having reviewed the evidence.  In such cases there is a serious risk of miscarriage of justice because we’ve given up the right to protect our own people.”

UKIP slam Labour MEP’s ‘rank hypocrisy’ over European Parliament activity level

–          MEP activity levels revealed – shows UKIP’s single MEP in the North East, works harder than the region’s two Labour MEPs combined.

–          Arnott says it is an example of ‘rank hypocrisy that is engrained in the Labour Party’, and that the Labour Party in the North East is becoming ‘all smear and no substance’ in its constant attacks on UKIP.

As 2014’s MEP activity figures are revealed, Labour’s two North East MEPs have been accused of ‘rank hypocrisy’, by UKIP’s North East Euro MP, Jonathan Arnott.

The claim comes as final activity figures of MEPs within the European Parliament were revealed by independent organisation, MEPRanking, showing that Mr. Arnott is one of the hardest-working MEPs anywhere in the country.

Figures released show that Mr Arnott has made 73 speeches in the European Parliament, in comparison to Labour’s combined total of just 6, since their term of office began on the 1st July.

Mr Arnott’s figure is the highest of any British MEP of any Party, and 9th out of all 750 MEPs in the European Parliament.

Figures also show that Arnott, UKIP’s first ever elected MEP for the North East, has asked 36 parliamentary questions to the European Commission on behalf of constituents, in comparison to a combined total of the two Labour MEPs of just 15.

Shortly after the European election results, Labour MEP Jude Kirton-Darling said “I think there’s a responsibility if you are elected by people, to properly represent them in the organisation you are elected to. Up till now, Jonathan Arnott said he is not going to participate in the European Parliament, I think that is a betrayal of the electorate”.

In the Journal (31st October), Labour’s David Anderson MP added “When Mr Arnott and his colleagues start attending their jobs regularly in Brussels and Strasbourg and do their job for which they were elected they might be listened to more”.

Following the news, UKIP’s local Euro MP Jonathan Arnott said “This is yet another fine example of the lies that were made about me in the run up to the European elections, and the rank hypocrisy that is engrained in the Labour Party. I had never said that I wouldn’t participate, merely that I wanted to spend time back in the UK working hard for my constituents as well.  These figures clearly show that I’ve worked much harder in the European Parliament than both Labour MEPs put together.”

Mr Arnott pointed to public meetings he has attended in recent months to meet constituents at various locations across the North East, including Alnwick, Blyth, Bedlington, Cramlington, Gateshead and Middlesbrough – with more planned in January and February.

“When you compare the record of Labour’s MEPs to mine, it’s rank hypocrisy for them to make these claims.  The Labour Party in the North East is becoming ‘all smear and no substance’ in its constant attacks on UKIP, even when they have been categorically proven wrong” added Arnott.

Notes to the editor:

MEPRanking – Record of Jonathan Arnott MEP:

MEPRanking – Record of Jude Kirton Darling MEP:

MEPRanking – Record of Paul Brannen MEP:


EU expecting ‘huge gift from Santa’, says UKIP’s EU Budget Spokesman, Jonathan Arnott.

The EU is expecting a ‘huge gift from Santa’, according to UKIP’s EU Budget Spokesman, Jonathan Arnott, as EU leaders gather in Brussels to discuss a €315 billion investment fund proposed by EU President, Jean – Claude Juncker.

The fund, unveiled towards the end last month, is planned to result in €315bn investment in the EU economy in the forthcoming years, using a guarantee of €16 billion from the EU budget and €5 billion from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Getting from €21bn to €315bn represents a leverage ratio of 15, a figure that has triggered fierce criticism that the European Commission is merely using figures which ‘don’t add up’.

UKIP’s EU Budget Spokesman, Jonathan Arnott MEP, said “In the run-up to Christmas, the European Council will be holding a meeting about Juncker’s proposed €315 billion investment Plan for Europe.  With the European Union contributing just €16 billion and the Investment Bank €5 billion, the only way that this will work is if they receive a huge gift from Santa because the economic reality is that the figures just don’t add up.

“Private companies aren’t going to contribute 15 times what’s put in by Europe unless there’s an incredibly sweet deal for them, which means a bad deal for the taxpayer.  After the recent British experience of the disaster which was Labour’s PFI initiative in the NHS, I don’t expect people in the UK to warm to Mr. Juncker’s Ponzi scheme.”

Letters – We must protect our greenbelt

Dear Editor,

Yesterday, a letter published yesterday from Sheila Spencer attacked UKIP over the issue of housing. Ms Spencer seemed to advocate the building of hundreds of thousands of homes, presumably on our precious greenbelt.

Currently more than 6,000 homes are planned each month to be built on our countryside.

UKIP would plan to incentivise back into the market the 700,000 empty homes which lie shamefully across the country. Why plan to build even more houses when we have nearly three quarters of a million standing empty?

UKIP would also change planning rules to make it easier to build on Brownfield sites instead of Greenfield sites. Central government would have the ability to list nationally available Brownfield sites for development and issue low interest bonds to enable decontamination – this would raise £5bn to fund our Brownfield revitalisation programme.

These plans alone would stop the development of the concrete jungle that our political class seem so intent on creating, and develop a sustainable low cost housing solution, creating a fairer society for all.


Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

Powers to parents and governors over ofsted inspections

Parents or Govenors should have the ability to trigger an Ofsted inspection if at least 25% sign a petition and present it to the Department for Education, according to UKIP’s North East Euro MP, Jonathan Arnott.

Arnott, a former Maths teacher, made the claim as Nick Hudson, the regional director for Ofsted, criticised the poor performance of secondary schools in the North-East.

Hudson said that children in the region ‘deserve better’ with Ofsted revealing that nearly a third of schools are failing students.

UKIP’s local MEP, Jonathan Arnott, said “Parents and governors should have the ability to trigger an Ofsted inspection if they feel the standards are slipping at their local comprehensive school. Ofsted have said that standards of schools in the region are dropping, yet, they still only venture into our schools when it suits their own blueprint”.

Ofsted’s Chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw recently announced that schools rated ‘good’ may still have to wait for up to three years for another inspection, and inspectors are now likely to be at the school for a shorter period of time.

Last year, across England more than 800 schools which had previously been identified as ‘good’ had “slipped back” into a lower grading.

“A lot can change in a school in at least three years, and recent figures show that many schools across the country have slipped lower than Ofsted’s ‘good’ rating. We talk about moving power away from the establishment; giving parents or governors the ability to trigger a school inspection would go some way in achieving that” added Arnott.


Divert funding from vanity University degrees to apprenticeships says Jonathan Arnott MEP

 – UKIP MEP gives examples of degrees at Newcastle University where funding should be scrapped

 – States that funds should be used to boost apprenticeships for ‘real world experience’

Funding for vanity degrees should be scrapped, and money saved should be invested into apprenticeships in the region to cut a ‘chronic skills shortage’, claims UKIP’s North East Euro MP, Jonathan Arnott.

It comes after business leaders across the North East have hit out at plans by the government to divert funds away from training providers, giving businesses control of funding their own apprenticeship schemes.

Earlier this week, findings revealed by global recruitment firm Manpower showed that UK-based businesses were hiring Portuguese bricklayers on £1,000 a week wages because of a skills shortage in Britain.

Arnott, Newcastle’s local Euro MP, said “We have a chronic skills shortage in our region and far more needs to be done to help develop valuable skills for our young people. Newcastle University are currently offering £27,000 degrees in ‘Folk and Traditional Music’ and ‘Countryside Management’, quite frankly, funding for these vanity degrees should be scrapped, and money saved should be invested into even more apprenticeships in our region”.

Mr Arnott also highlighted the £27,000 classroom-based ‘Rural Studies’ degree, which Newcastle University states is ‘ideal if you enjoy the outdoors’, calling the qualification a ‘complete madness’: “The inside of a city classroom is hardly the best place to learn about rural areas”.

“By making this change it is likely that the cost of a university degree would decrease, as fewer would be funded by the taxpayer. We currently have an education system based on wealth and not on ability. No enough is being done to ensure that the brightest brains from the poorest backgrounds have exactly the same opportunity to succeed as the richest in society” added Arnott.

Support for legal high ban

MEP Jonathan Arnott is backing calls by the Centre for Social Justice for so called ‘legal high’ party drugs to be banned.

Mr Arnott, who has long been a vociferous opponent of these dangerous drugs, spoke out after new figures showed the number of deaths linked to them has increased eightfold in three years.

Think-tank, CSJ is asking the Government to implement legislation similar to laws introduced in Ireland in 2010.

The move would mean that some 200 ‘head shops’, which offer a range of drug paraphernalia, would close.

“Former drugs minister Norman Baker was supporting a blanket ban on the marketing, sale and distribution of such psychoactive substances but he has since left the Home Office so that may well have been kicked into the long grass,” said Mr Arnott, the North East’s Euro MP.

“Well it is too important to be side lined; young people are continuing to lose their lives or end up hospitalised because of these ‘legal highs’ and the government must act.

“I am not a supporter of imposing blanket bans restricting people’s liberties but this is an exception to that rule. It is necessary because otherwise the manufacturers just change the chemical composition to get round specific bans.

“We have a problem with drugs generally in this country, mainly, but not exclusively, with young people and we must do more by way of education to deter them dallying with danger which can easily lead to long term addiction,” he added.


Shocking new figures show Labour have zero credibility on zero hour contracts

Labour have ‘zero credibility’ on zero hour contracts according to UKIP’s North East Euro MP, Jonathan Arnott, after new figures revealed that Darlington Borough Council employs nearly 400 staff members on either a casual master or zero hour contract.

The figures were accurate as of the 20th October 2014, and were released under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Last year, figures released by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development suggested that the national figure for zero hours contracts could be approximately 1 million. Pro rata, that would indicate an estimate of circa 39,000 North East workers on zero hour contracts.

Jonathan Arnott, Darlington’s local Euro MP, said “The Labour politicians which lead Darlington Council should feel completely and utterly ashamed. These shocking statistics are prevalent not only in our region, but in Labour-led councils right across the country.

“I do understand that these contracts can be a necessary evil for some small businesses, which are not yet at the stage where they can gauge the amount of work required from one week to the next.  But big corporations, which our political class cosy up to, use zero hour contracts on a basis which can often lead to the exploitation of workers.“

A recent study by Durham University graduate Marjorie Libourel found the use of zero hour contracts disrupts family life, leads to higher divorces rates, and problems for child care and holiday arrangements.

She argued that the lack of stability for on demand employees makes it difficult to budget and plan finances in the long term.

Arnott continued “As leader of the Labour Party, Blair promised that a Labour government would see an end to zero hour contracts. Twenty years on, Labour MP’s and Labour-led councils are still using them collectively in their thousands. As a party, Labour have zero credibility on zero hour contracts. All talk, no substance.”