Kinnock defends fraud record.

Neil Kinnock confessed last week that he had not sacked anybody for fraud after taking charge of reform at the European Commission. He told a meeting of the Commons European Scrutiny Committee that he had employers’ responsibility for only the very top European civil servants while his director general dealt with other grades. Under pressure from Tory committee member and euro-sceptic Bill Cash, Kinnock defended the treatment of Paul van Buitenen, the whistleblower at the heart of the commission’s fraud scandal. He said van Buitenen had had his rights maintained and suffered no loss of career status following his suspension from work. He also denied the treatment of van Buitenen would deter other whistleblowers from coming forward. He said: ‘Mr van Buitenen has suffered no relegation in status or loss of his rights.’ Kinnock went on to assure the committee that appointments to the commission would in future be on the basis of merit. However, he resisted the idea that the enforcement of regulation should move to the commission. He said he believed regulation should remain decentralised and in the hands of member states.

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