[Sajjad Karim will lead the Advisory Committee on the Conduct of Members]
By Elham Asaad Buaras
Britain’s Muslim MEP has been appointed Chair of the EU Parliament watchdog body which was set up to stop unethical behaviour by MEPs.
Sajjad Karim, North West Conservative MEP and Conservative Legal Affairs spokesperson, will lead the Advisory Committee on the Conduct of Members which is responsible for ensuring all MEPs follow the Code of Conduct which prohibits receiving expensive gifts and forces MEPs to declare any extra payments they receive.
The Code was introduced in January 2012 after an undercover report from the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper alleged that four MEPs accepted cash in exchange for influencing EU legislation.
Lancashire born and based Karim is the only British MEP to serve on the Advisory Committee. His appointment as one or only five MEPs from across the political spectrum was made by the previous European Parliament President.
In a statement to The Muslim News Sajjad said: “It is an honour to chair the Advisory Committee ahead of the European elections in May. Under the guidance of the Code of Conduct, the European Parliament has made great strides in improving transparency and my mission is to continue to provide the greatest level of transparency possible.”
“We need to win back the trust of EU citizens who have been dismayed by some of the scandals in the past and the Advisory Committee and Code of Conduct goes some way in achieving that.”
Karim chaired his first committee meeting in Brussels on March 18.