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Jonathan Arnott MEP has condemned the European Council for ordering 4,000 bottles of Champagne.

Local Euro-MP Jonathan Arnott has condemned the European Council for ordering 4,000 bottles of Champagne.

“This is taxpayers’ money and meanwhile so many of my constituents in the North East struggle to buy foodstuffs, never mind splash out on expensive fizz,” he said.

“When they divide up the EU’s assets, will this country be entitled to receive 500 of these bottles? And if so, can we please use them to raise a glass to toast Brexit and the end of these obscene wastes of taxpayers’ money for once and for all? “

Mr Arnott, EU Budget Committee member and UKIP’s Treasury spokesman, made his comments in the wake of the European Council putting out a tender for 1,000 bottles of champagne a year for a four year stint.

“The profligate waste of taxpayers’ money over the years is one of the reasons people in this country voted for Brexit but European bureaucrats are still acting in “Carry on Regardless” mode,” he said.

Statement on my appointment as Political Advisor and Treasury Spokesman

I’m delighted to have been appointed to the roles of Political Advisor and Treasury Spokesman by the new Party Leader Henry Bolton.

Promotions for Jim, Margot, and Mike, are well-deserved. I look forward to working with them as the Party must now move forward.

The Labour Party has become a threat to the Brexit which the people voted for, and which they supported in their Manifesto.

Sadly, the Conservative government has pursued a weak and insipid negotiation strategy which is weakening our national hand whilst emboldening an intransigent Brussels.

UKIP must now be back in the game, for the sake of our nation. To that end, we must rally around Henry as Party Leader, roll up our sleeves, and get to work.

Labour’s Brexit immigration lie

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Statement on the UKIP leadership election result

First of all, I would like to offer my congratulations to Henry Bolton on winning the UKIP leadership election. His will be a difficult, and in many ways unenviable, task.

We must now get back to showing what we stand *for*, not what – or who – some wish us to stand against. The Party has made its decision. Barely one in five Party members supported the ideology which would have dragged this Party into the gutter. I am glad that this is the case.

There is a huge amount of work ahead for our new Leader. He will be given a window of opportunity by the media, because his election was unanticipated by them, in which to define his position.

He now has a huge challenge, and I’ll limit my comments for space reasons to just five of the biggest ones:

1. To persuade the many good UKIP members who left the Party over the last year to return.

2. To prove that UKIP is relevant to people across the country. That means that we need to start talking about the issues which people raise with us on the doorstep, not the other way way around: not just Brexit, but jobs, the economy, health, education, crime, housing, and everything that people care about which affects their everyday lives.

3. To put together a ‘top team’ which is able to appeal to a broad spectrum of the electorate, a team with the talent, ability and drive to make a difference.

4. To organise and professionalise the Party. This means that we have to stop shooting ourselves in the foot, as we have already done many times in just the past few days. It means that we need to take firm action, kicking out of the Party those who deserve to be kicked out. It also means that we need to become a credible and effective fighting force at elections once again.

5. To motivate our activists to get out and campaign. The lifeblood of any political party is its activists, and in UKIP perhaps even more so than most because we cannot rely upon a tradition of a century of past successes, of laurels to rest on. We need to enthuse our people with a drive and determination to go out there, work hard, and to succeed.

I have not agreed with everything which Henry Bolton said during the election campaign, but there are many things which I could support.

He has vast leadership experience, but this is not political in nature and it will be an incredibly difficult and steep learning curve for him to transfer these skills to the leadership of a political party.

This Party has been given another chance, one final opportunity to bounce back from the mistakes that have been made over recent times.

I truly hope that Henry Bolton will prove himself to be equal to this task. Please, Henry, deliver a party which I can once again feel that absolute sense of pride in representing. It’s felt so distant of late; please give us a future.

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EU ‘daft’ spending plans slammed

Following the green light for an EU raft of “daft” spending proposals North East MEP Jonathan Arnott has hit out at the massive waste of taxpayers’ money.

The Eurocrats have earmarked €12 million to fund gap year teenagers with free ‘inter-railing’ around Europe and a further €2 million to help them volunteer in Africa for up to a year.

A further €800,000 is to be spent helping volunteers plant trees in the same continent and €3 million-plus on ‘ocean literacy classes’; teaching refugees to play football and on a butterfly monitoring project.

UKIP Euro-MP Mr Arnott, a member of the EU parliament’s budget committee, said: “This EU budget and so-called Brexit Bill are outrageous.”

“The EU is barking up the wrong tree if it thinks splurging taxpayers’ money on pointless projects will make it more popular.

“People are sick to death of the EU trying to bribe young people, and throwing money away. These outrageously daft proposals just reinforce why people were right to vote for Brexit,” he added.

The spending plans were amongst some 2,324 amendments to the EU’s draft Budget agreed by the Parliament’s Budget Committee this week. They will go to a full vote of the European Parliament on 25 October.

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Call for tougher animal cruelty sentences backed

Local MEP Jonathan Arnott is again backing a call for tougher sentences for animal cruelty.

The Centre for Crime Prevention is recommending that the maximum sentence is increased from six months – the lowest in Europe – to five years.

Figures have revealed that more than 92% of offenders convicted of animal cruelty over ten years ending in 2015 in England and Wales avoided prison.

“I have long advocated tougher sentences and I was particularly sickened by the case of the two Redcar thugs who walked free from court last year after subjecting a bulldog to a horrific attack,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP.

“If only that were an isolated instance. Yet despite daily examples of unspeakable cruelty, I genuinely can’t remember the last time anyone actually served more than 2 months in prison before early release – even for the most heinous of offences against animals.

“It is all very well for the government to mutter that it is reviewing the matter and any changes to legislation should always be carefully considered before implementation.

“But this problem has been apparent for years. It’s not a complex matter to add animal cruelty offences to the list for which ‘unduly lenient’ sentences can be reviewed, or to toughen up on making sure that bans on keeping animals are properly enforced.

“Nor is it a complex matter to increase the maximum sentence for animal cruelty so that culprits can be dealt with in a proper manner and more in keeping with their heartless crimes.

“The public are righty outraged at our government’s rudderless leadership and the leniency shown to such offenders. Those who deliberately harm animals should face sentences which actually deliver justice,” said Mr Arnott.