Veteran Tory eurosceptic Roger Helmer announced his retirement from the European Parliament and his replacement was announced as Rupert Mathews, expected in Brussels in January 2012.
Matthews was discovered to be a sceptic over the EU, but on precious little else. He has several fascinating interests. Chief among these is ghost hunting. Of course, there is much more to him. He’s also an expert on UFOs and alien abduction.
He has written several books on these subjects, including, UFOs: A History of Alien Activity from Sightings to Abductions to Global Threat, Roswell: Uncovering the Secrets of Area 51 and the Fatal UFO Crash, Alien Encounters: True-Life Encounters with Aliens and Other Extra-Terrestrial Phenomenon, Bigfoot and Other Mysterious Creatures.
This led to him being nicknamed ‘The MEP for Roswell and Bigfoot’.
Since the announcement, Conservative Party Central Office insisted he keep a low profile and keep his mouth shut.
However, he may not be Brussels bound. Apart from the embarrassment of his interests, it now appears that he will be blocked from taking up his seat, by his own party.
He has been under investigation by the party over photographs of gollywogs, the children’s doll that is now seen as racist and insulting.
At the last Conservative party conference, one stall was selling a book with two gollywogs on the cover, titled, Britain – A Post Political Correctness Society by Bill Etheridge, published by one Rupert Matthews.
The author and his wife, were expelled from the Conservatives after posting photos of themselves posing with gollywogs on Facebook. Bill Etheridge then joined UKIP.
Matthews claimed to be unaware of the investigation. A party spokesperson told the BBC that until there was an actual vacancy, it could not comment on whether Rupert Matthews would be a Tory MEP for the East Midlands.
A source says that Helmer is “foaming at the mouth” with anger and, it is alleged, threatening not to retire as planned.