Conservative MEPs today refused to endorse the signing–off of two sets of EU accounts still hanging over from 2012.

They voted to withhold discharge on the accounts of the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications European Council 2012, and on the equivalent set of accounts for the EU Council itself.

This follows a report by the Court of Auditors in November last year which failed to grant the EU's accounts a clean bill of health for the 18th year in a row. A decision on discharge of the two sets of accounts was postponed by the European Parliament in April.

Conservatives have consistently refused to support a discharge for any single set of accounts until the budget as a whole receives a positive statement of assurance from the Court of Auditors.

Chief Whip Emma McClarkin said: "Sadly this stand of ours over the EU's accounts has a long, long history. However, we will never stop reminding the EU institutions that the money they may waste or misspend, or lose to fraud, is not is the public's.

"There must be greater budgetary rigour, closer monitoring of all spending and better accounting for every penny of taxpayer's money. The people deserve no less."

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