Sunday, 3 March 2013

Marta Andreasen says YES!

Former European Union Chief Auditor (sacked for whistle blowing)
and UKIP MEP (recently defected to the Conservative Party) Marta Andreasen
The Conservative Party's newest MEP, Marta Andreasen, who defected from UKIP just a week ago, has emailed to accept my invitation to speak at the Kent Area Conference on Saturday 23 March at Tonbridge School. 
This is quite a coup, as it will be Marta Andreasen's first keynote speech since her change of allegiance.  She will be participating in the Future of Europe discussion, alongside the other South East Region's MEPs Richard Ashworth, Dan Hannan and Nirj Deva.  For the record, our fourth MEP, James Elles, declined the invitation as he had a prior engagement.
Marta Andreasen is a high profile critic of the EU, having once been employed as its Chief Auditor. I quote the following passage directly from Wikipedia:
Andreasen criticized the EU's accounting system for being open to fraud.[5] She raised her criticisms and proposals for overdue improvements and changes internally, but made no progress with her superior. She then submitted her report to the Commissioner Michaele Schreyer and the Commission President Romano Prodi. She again received no answers and so approached members of the EU Parliament’s Budget Control Committee.[5] She, consequently, refused to sign off the 2001 European Commission accounts. In the discharge procedure in 2003 the Commission promised comprehensive reform. At this stage the media began to investigate and to report. Andreasen went public with her concerns on 1 August 2002.

Andreasen was fully suspended from her job by the Commission in May 2002 (for "violating Articles 12 and 21 of staff regulations, failure to show sufficient loyalty and respect"). She is said to have been suspended from her job and ultimately fired because she refused to sign accounts she believed were unreliable.

Since then Andreasen has given a number of interviews and speeches outlining her criticism and the measures to be taken. Among her first appearances were invitations by Fraud examiners in Las Vegas, the Institute of Internal Auditors in Ireland and Accountancy Age in Britain, which in 2003 awarded her the reader-voted Accountancy Age Award as Personality of the Year. In 2004 she won the Cliff Robertson Sentinel Award for "choosing truth over self".
In 2007 it was announced that Andreasen had become the new Treasurer of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), which is committed to withdrawing the United Kingdom from the European Union.[10] In September 2009, she resigned from this post, although she continued to serve as a UKIP MEP [11]
Andreasen was elected as a UKIP member of the European Parliament for South East England in the 2009 elections to the European Parliament. She immediately joined the Parliament's influential Committee on Budgetary Control, although the European People's Party group blocked her bid to become a vice-Chair.[12]
In April 2010 she announced an intention to apply for the vacant position of Director-General of the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF), but there is no proof that she actually sent in an application.[13]
After a disappointing election result for UKIP in May 2011, she called for leader Nigel Farage to resign.[14] During a TV interview, Farage responded that she was "out of touch" and "didn't know what she was talking about".[15]
In November 2011, she told RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland that the Irish government's nomination of Kevin Cardiff to the European Court of Auditors should be withdrawn.[16]
In February 2013, she defected from UKIP to the Conservatives, describing leader Nigel Farage as "a Stalinist" who was "anti-women".[17]

In her email accepting the invitation she has promised to "explain fully" the reasons why she left UKIP and answer members' questions about her views on EU accounting practices!

Other speakers at the conference include: Steve Bell (Vice President of the Party), Richard Ashworth MEP, Nirj Deva MEP, Dan Hannan MEP, Paul Carter, Bob Neil MP, Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Tim Montgomerie, Iain Dale plus many more.

For Party members and donors in Kent there is no charge to attend, but if you wish to partake of coffee and lunchtime refreshments we do ask for a contribution of £10.00 per person to cover costs.

To book your place please download and complete the booking reservation form HERE

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