South West MEP, Trevor Colman, admits attending European Parliament for allowances
A UKIP MEP has admitted one of the only reasons he attends the European Parliament is to ensure he still gets his huge £200,000 allowances.
South West representative, Trevor Colman, 72, has taken part in just over half of all votes in the last five years and has recorded doing nothing in the last year.
In an interview with Paul Barltrop, during BBC's Sunday Politics West show, he said "Why make a speech when you know that it is totally ineffective? That you are there talking to a gallery of about six people, I don't quite see the point of me doing that.
"It's not that I'm not doing anything, I am trying to get us out of this mess and that can only be achieved over here."
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Asked whether allowances were a factor influencing his decision, he responded: "I wouldn't say getting the allowances is one of the main motivations, I'm trying to be fair about it, it is a factor, of course it is."
Mr Colman, represents the second UKIP seat in the constituency, and won election to the parliament which meets in Brussels, Belgium, and Strasbourg, France, in 2009.
According to figures obtained from votewatch.eu Mr Colman has taken part in just 52 per cent of all votes during his five years in the chamber, has only made speeches 17 times and asked questions just twice.
William Dartmouth, another South West UKIP MEP has made a total of 673 submissions.
"The European Parliament has no power, it can't make or change legislation, it has little or no power, we are in fact just a pantomime taking players to make the illusion of giving democracy where none exists," Mr Colman added.
The MEP has refused to disclose how much he spends on the anti-Europe website www.th-eu-nit.com, and does not join other UKIP MEPs who detail their expenses on the official party website.
"I don't believe there is a need to. We don't have to publish any of this and if people are interested in the way I am spending money or am not spending money they can come to my office any time they like and they can examine the accounts."
In the interview, broadcast on Sunday (26/1) Mr Barltop established that Mr Colman employs five full time staff, who mainly work on the website, another woman who covers Brussels and Strasbourg, and a part time employee.
He came under at a Euro election debate where fellow MEPs complained he was failing to serve his own constituents.
Graham Watson, a Lib Dem MEP, said: "There is a massive amount that goes on in the European parliament and that's why most of the members are there full time doing their jobs, I'm sorry if Trevor Colman finds it so boring, but I would have to ask the question why did he stand in the first place."
But the chair of UKIP, Steve Crowther, who also appeared on the programme, defended his colleagues conduct.
"The point is this is team work, our other UKIP MEP has a figure of 673 questions and speeches, and that is the point about how UKIP approaches the European Parliament.
"We have a specific job to do and we are elected to do it, that is to campaign and work for Britain to come out of the European Parliament."
He added that every MEP across Europe receives the same amount of general expenditure allowance.
"What is different is the more you go the more daily allowances you get, so if you take it seriously you go a lot, well you also get paid to go a lot." he said.
"If you vote for UKIP you must know what our attitude is to Europe and the European Parliament."
Mr Colman, who sits on the Committee on International Trade and is a substitute for the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, is set to stand down in May.