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Gerard Batten (born 27 March 1954 in London) is a Member of the European Parliament for London for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). He was first elected in 2004. He sits as a member of the Independence and Democracy Group.

He was a founder member of UKIP in September 1993. He was the first Party Secretary from 1994 to 1997. He has fought local elections, a by-election, a European election, and two general elections as a UKIP candidate. As well as his seat in the European Parliament he is a member of UKIP's National Executive Committee.

Batten was appointed a member of the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Security and Defence in July 2004, and shortly afterwards was also appointed UKIP's official spokesman on Security and Defence. In this role, he has attacked the Labour government's plans to introduce Identity Cards.[1]

Before becoming an MEP he was a salesman for British Telecom for 28 years.

At the 2007 UK Independence Party conference, he was selected as the party's candidate to contest the London mayoral election, 2008.[2]

Batten stood in the 2009 UKIP leadership election[3], coming second.

Prodi controversy

In April 2006, Batten stated that a London constituent and former FSB agent, Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Litvinenko, had been told that Italian Prime Minister and former President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, had been the KGB's "man in Italy", demanding an inquiry into the allegations. Batten told the European Parliament that Litvinenko had been warned by FSB deputy chief General Anatoly Trofimov that there were numerous KGB agents among Italian politicians, and that "Romano Prodi is our man in Italy". According to the Brussels-based newspaper EU Reporter on 3 April 2006, "another high-level source, a former KGB operative in London, has confirmed the story."[4] Among the most serious claims, by Batten's account, is that Prodi assisted in the protection of KGB operatives allegedly involved in the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in 1981. The Italian parliamentary commission, the Guzzanti Commission, later concluded that KGB and GRU (Soviet military intelligence) did indeed attempt to assassinate the Pope.

On 26 April 2006, Batten repeated his call for a parliamentary inquiry, stating that: "Former, senior members of the KGB are willing to testify in such an investigation, under the right conditions... It is not acceptable that this situation is unresolved, given the importance of Russia's relations with the European Union."

On 11 November 2006, Lt Col Litvinenko was admitted to hospital with suspected poisoning after eating at a London restaurant and died on 23 November 2006. The police later concluded he has been poisoned with polonium - even a small dose of it is sufficiently lethal. Anatoly Trofimov was assassinated by unknown gunmen in April 2005.

On 22 January 2007, the BBC and ITV News released documents and video footage, from February 2006, in which Litvinenko made the same allegations against Prodi.[5][6]

References

External links

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