West Midlands MEP Nikki Sinclaire has disputed allegations of expenses fraud after being arrested and quizzed by police.
As revealed in the Birmingham Post, Ms Sinclaire, 43, was being quizzed along with three other people on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud the European Parliament.
Miss Sinclaire, from Meriden, was arrested at a Birmingham police station on February 22 by detectives from West Midlands Police’s Economic Crime Unit.
Three others, two women and a 19-year-old youth, were also arrested at addresses in Solihull, Worcester and Birmingham.
However, she said she disputes all allegations and attended the police station voluntarily.
A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said: ‘‘West Midlands Police Economic Crime Unit have today arrested four people on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud the European Parliament.
‘‘Two women, aged 55 and 39, and a man aged 19 were arrested at addresses in Solihull, Worcester and Birmingham this morning, while a 43 year-old woman was later arrested at a police station in Birmingham. All four remain in custody this evening.
‘‘The arrests are part of an ongoing investigation which followed an allegation made in 2010 into allowances and expenses.’’
In a statement, Miss Sinclaire said: “Nikki Sinclaire MEP disputes all allegations put towards her or her staff. Nikki Sinclaire MEP and her office will continue to fully co-operate with the police on this matter.
“The allegations at hand are old allegations from a disgruntled ex-employee who himself is under investigation and whose motives are entirely political to pursue his advancement in UKIP.
“Due to the on-going police investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time. This is particularly frustrating to Ms Sinclaire who is eager to clear her name and has nothing to hide.”
Miss Sinclaire was elected to the European Parliament as a UKIP MEP for the West Midlands in June 2009, but was later expelled from the party over policy rows.
British MEPs earn around £80,000 in wages from the European Parliament each year, depending on the euro exchange rate. They can also claim up to £205,000 annually in staffing allowance.
In 2010, London-born Miss Sinclaire said she would welcome an official inquiry into her own expenses after denying reports she had claimed money she was not entitled to.
It followed accusations by a whistleblower that she had claimed nearly £840 for driving the 1,200 miles from her Birmingham home to the parliament in Strasbourg, when she had allegedly travelled by plane, which can cost as little as £260.