Conservative MEP hopeful 'unaware' of golly inquiry

Rupert Matthews website
Image caption On his website, Mr Matthews describes himself as a "historian and political activist"

The man expected to be named as the East Midlands' next Conservative MEP has said he was unaware he was being investigated by his own party.

It follows reports golliwog dolls featured on the front cover of a book published by a company of which Rupert Matthews is a director.

The Conservative party in Westminster said it was continuing to look into the claims.

Mr Matthews said he had not been told anything about the investigation.

The 50-year-old is due to be offered the seat of Roger Helmer, who announced in October he was standing down as an East Midlands MEP.

Political correctness

Mr Helmer said he was worried the party was delaying an announcement about Mr Matthews because it was worried about his past.

Mr Matthews said although he held shares in Bretwalda Books, he had not been involved with the publication of Britain - a Post-Political Correctness Study, by Bill Etheridge.

He said: "I was aware that one of the Labour party websites had run some sort of story on it but I didn't take it seriously because I didn't deal with that book.

"Nobody's raised a thing with me - nobody's asked any questions.

"If they want to ask me I'll quite happily explain the circumstances to them that yes, I'm a shareholder in the company but I didn't do that one - I do the history stuff."

A party spokesperson said that until there was an actual vacancy, it could not comment on whether Rupert Matthews would be a Tory MEP for the East Midlands.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites