UKIP has suspended Brighton and Hove MEP Janice Atkinson while the party investigates an inflated expenses claim alleged to have been made on her behalf.
It is not known whether Mrs Atkinson’s chief of staff Christine Hewitt was acting with her boss’s approval – or even her knowledge.
According to The Sun newspaper, Ms Hewitt asked a restaurant manager in Margate for a receipt for more than the bill.
Mrs Atkinson became an MEP (Member of the European Parliament) for the South East England constituency, which includes Brighton and Hove, at the European elections last year.
She has been suspended by the party having been due to contest Folkestone and Hythe, in Kent, at the general election in May.
Last year Mrs Atkinson was criticised for describing a constituent in Kent as a Thai “ting tong” – a term popularised by the BBC in its comedy series Little Britain.