Conservative MEP Amjad Bashir was still directly involved in a Manchester restaurant when it was raided by UK Border Agency staff and found to be employing illegal workers, Breitbart London can exclusively reveal. Seven people were arrested at Zouk on the 1 June 2013, on suspicion of not possessing valid work permits, with four civil penalty notices issued.
Both UKIP and the Conservative Party have sought to be tough on immigration reform, with the Prime Minister promising to get net migration down to the ‘tens of thousands’ by the end of this parliamentary term.
But despite claims by Mr Bashir that he had stepped down as company director for Zouk Limited three days before the raid, documents issued by Companies House on 11th June 2014 show he actually resigned his position after the raid – on the 3rd June. This documentation is available to download from Companies House for one pound.
When asked if the Conservative Party were satisfied by the amount of due diligence they undertook prior to Mr Bashir defecting and sitting in the Brussels Parliament as a member of the Conservatives’ ECR Group, a spokesman said: “May I refer you to Grant’s words.”
Mr Bashir, who was a UKIP MEP when the story was first revealed, initially told party officials that he had stepped down a month before the raid. When confronted with the documentation from Companies House showing that this was not the case, Mr Bashir explained that his secretary had put in the resignation when she returned from holiday, which should have explained the delay.
But according to legal advice sought by UKIP, Mr Bashir offered no evidence of this when confronted and did not admit to the party that he only submitted partial evidence from Companies House when he filed a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission against a journalist who questioned the date of his resignation.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage told BBC1’s Andrew Marr that he had become “increasingly alarmed” by the behaviour of Mr Bashir following his election to the the European Parliament for the Yorkshire and Humber region in 2014.
Farage said, “Bashir didn’t tell us the truth about the employment of illegal immigrants in his business” and he also alleged there were “some big questions in Brussels about money” which sources say relate to travel expenses.
But despite these allegations and the party suspending the Muslim businessman, he was welcomed with open arms by the Conservative Party and photographed with Prime Minister David Cameron.
He was also defended by Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps who called Mr Farage’s words “pretty desperate stuff”.
“Farage has been out and defended him on really their key accusation — and then they get wind of this defection and suddenly they rush out of the door all of the stuff that’s already been there for years” he added. “I’m absolutely satisfied that he is a very moderate MEP who has seen that the only way to deliver what he wants is through the Conservatives.”
And the Prime Minister said Mr Bashir’s was “an inspiring story and one I’m very proud to have sitting as a Conservative”.
But in fact, when UKIP became aware of contradictions in the evidence and the statement by Mr Bashir, they sought legal advice and began an internal investigation.
A UKIP spokesman told Breitbart London, “We bent over backwards for Amjad, possibly too far,” when asked to explain why the party had taken so long before taking definitive action against the MEP. “We like to give people the benefit of the doubt, we like to believe people” he added, saying “Party lawyers felt misled by Mr Bashir.”
But they dismissed accusations by the Conservative Party that the information regarding Mr Bashir had only been received once he had defected. A spokesman added, “It was pretty clear [to Mr Bashir] that the game was up.”