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European Court decides that Den Dover MEP does not have to repay all of his parliamentary assistance allowance to the European Parliament


The General Court of the European Union has handed down its judgment today in Case T-490/09 Densmore Ronald Dover v European Parliament.  Densmore Dover was a Member of the European Parliament for North East England from 1999 to 2009.  He applied to annul the European Parliament's decision that he had to repay £538,290 in parliamentary assistance allowance.

The Court has annulled the European Parliament's decision in part, on the grounds that: (a) the Parliament did not give sufficient reasons to explain why he had to repay that amount; and (b) it was illegitimate for the European Parliament to try to reclaim sums on the basis of an allegation that an MEP owed VAT to the national tax authorities.  The result reduces the amount repayable by £193,001.

The Court also rejected the Parliament's application to remove an internal audit report from the Court file (the Parliament had argued that the report could not be disclosed without its prior authorisation) and held that each side should bear its own costs.

The judgment is here.

David Vaughan CBE QC and Maya Lester appeared for Den Dover.