YORKSHIRE MEP Amjad Bashir is speaking to lawyers about the allegations thrown at him in the wake of his weekend defection from the UK Independence Party.
Mr Bashir’s decision to switch to the Conservatives was accompanied by an announcement from his former party that he had been suspended as a Ukip member over “unanswered financial and employment questions” and allegations of interference in candidate selection.
Speaking as he travelled to Brussels for the first time as a Conservative MEP, he told The Yorkshire Post he had joined a “proper political group where you can actively take part in politics rather than shirk from your duty”.
He declined to comment on the swirl of allegations surrounding him but confirmed he was taking legal advice.
Mr Bashir was pictured with the Prime Minister at the weekend and George Osborne today added his voice of support for Mr Bashir.
The Chancellor said: “I’m satisfied that Amjad Bashir has this crucial insight, which is, if you want a referendum on British membership of the EU, you’re going to need to have a Conservative government, you are going to need to have David Cameron in Downing Street, because the alternatives are not promising,” he said.
“I was listening to him on the television yesterday, and I thought he was very compelling about the reasons why he wanted a Conservative government ... I’m certainly not aware of something that that I should be worried about.”
He added: “We are absolutely comfortable that he will be a Conservative MEP who will speak powerfully on the reasons, based on his own personal experience, on why voting for some of these minority parties leads to the exact opposite outcome that you want.”
Mr Bashir was one of three Ukip MEPs elected to represent Yorkshire in last May’s European elections as the party came first in the region with more than 30 per cent of the vote.
One of his former colleagues, Yorkshire Ukip MEP Mike Hookem, said Mr Bashir should honour a commitment made by candidates before the election to step down if they switched sides.
“The people of Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire voted for three UKIP MEPs, not for two Conservatives, and this would be the only honourable thing to do.”