Finally one of our own to take a high seat in the European parliament. He is an expert in UFOs and paranormal activity and is set to become Leicestershire’s voice in the European parliament. The decision by outspoken East Midlands Tory MEP Roger Helmer to quit at the end of the year means that Rupert Matthews, 50, is due to replace him. The father of two has written more than 180 books on history, military and paranormal subjects and has published books by several writers, including Mr Helmer.
His books include UFOs: A History of Alien Activity from Sightings to Abductions to Global Threat, Unexplained Ghosts and Spirits and The Sasquatch.Mr Matthews also runs an online course about the paranormal on behalf of the International Metaphysical University. He is set to take over the £73,000-a-year Brussels role on December 31. City Conservative councillor Ross Grant said: “He’s a really likeable and friendly guy and also a very effective campaigner. As an MEP, he will be a critical friend to Europe.”
Andy Bayford, chairman of Leicester Conservative Association said: “I first met Rupert during the Leicester South by-election in 2004. “I believe he’ll be a good representative for Leicester and Leicestershire in the European Parliament. “He is a bit quirky and eccentric, so he’s fairly similar to Roger Helmer.” Mr Matthews declined to be interviewed, saying he had been advised not to speak until after taking up the post. He did, however, issue a statement, in which he said: “Roger Helmer will be a tough act to follow. “I first met Roger when we were both campaigning in the 1999 European elections – he as a candidate and I as a Conservative Party activist. “Since then, Roger has done a fine job of representing the East Midlands in Brussels and Strasbourg. “It will be an honour to follow Roger in the task of battling the ever-increasing federalism of the EU by representing the people of the East Midlands and the Conservative Party in the European Parliament.”
Mr Matthews has stood as Tory candidate in the Labour stronghold of Bootle, Merseyside, in 1997, and came second with 8.5 per cent of the vote. In 2009, he stood as a Tory candidate for the East Midlands in the European elections, where voters choose a party, rather than a candidate. A list of candidates, ranked in order, are submitted by each party before the election. Parties are awarded seats in the parliament based on the number of votes received across a region. Mr Helmer and Emma McClarkin were the top two names on the Conservative list and won seats based on the party’s vote tally across the East Midlands. Mr Matthews was next on the list so did not make the cut in 2009. But, under EU election rules, he will now replace Mr Helmer without the need for a by-election. The other three East Midlands MEPs are Labour’s Glenis Willmott, UKIP’s Derek Clark and Lib Dem Bill Newton Dunn.
Hope he can do some difference, and congrats to Mr. Matthews.