Richard Ashworth, who had to fight for re-selection after infuriating his local association in the run up to the 2009 euro elections, is ironically the Tories agriculture spokesman despite his own disastrous farming record – which Guido may cover next week if he can dig out the clippings over the weekend.Not the loyalty expected by an MEP, and I suspect that this sort of gossip is caused by deeper problems in the Ashworth office.
Ashworth has admitted in the past to paying his wife £29,999 to be his full time PA, but in the run up to the leadership vote there might be a bit of a headache from him. A former staffer has contacted Guido and spilled the beans that despite working for Ashworth for many months they:
“…never had any form of communication with the MEP’s PA, Mrs Ashworth, not an email, not a phone call, not a letter, nothing from her. There was absolutely no proof that she was doing any work at all to earn the £33,000 that she was being paid. Even if she was working in the constituency on a part-time basis you would have expected at least some form of contact, at least once, with the European staff.”
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