A UFO expert may be about to face his biggest mystery yet - trying to penetrate the workings of the European Parliament.

Former Surbiton councillor Rupert Matthews could become a Conservative MEP for the East Midlands when current member Roger Helmer resigns in the new year.

Mr Matthews was behind Mr Helmer on the Tory party list in the region at the 2009 European elections, a position that would normally guarantee his succession in the event of a vacancy.

However, a Conservative party spokesman said Mr Helmer’s successor would have to be on the current approved list of approved candidates, and could not confirm if the former St Marks councillor would go to Strasbourg.

Mr Matthews, who represented the ward between 1998 and 2002, has written about ghosts, the Titanic and dinosaurs.

His titles include UFOs: A History of Alien Activity from Sightings to Abductions to Global Threat.

Blogs have speculated the party might block Mr Matthew’s succession because of his interest in the paranormal.

Mr Helmer said: “He wrote a book about ghosts and then one or two people asked him to write about ghosts and they suddenly people think he is an expert on ghosts.

“He is not. He is a freelance writer.”