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Monday, October 05, 2015

Nigel Farage faces investigation over use of EU money

The Daily Mail reports that Nigel Farage faces a European Parliament investigation for using taxpayer funds to pay for a roadshow around Britain campaigning against the European Union.

They say that the Ukip leader has been reported to Brussels authorities for financing his ‘Say No To EU’ speaking tour using EU money allocated to his group of MEPs.

Mr Farage’s Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group (EFDD), which is made up of Ukip MEPs and Eurosceptics from other countries, has received 6.4million euros (£4.7million) from the Parliament in the past three years to pay for its activities.

However, Labour MP Wes Streeting has written to the president, Martin Schulz, after he discovered some of the money is being used to sponsor Mr Farage’s anti-EU tour, which he is using to launch his anti-EU campaign:

Mr. Farage is currently visiting theatres and hotels across Britain trying to persuade people to vote to end Britain’s membership of the EU in the referendum.

Mr Streeting, who is a member of the Commons Treasury select committee, has asked Mr Schulz to investigate whether the spending is a breach of EU rules, which state groups must ‘carry out their duties as part of the activities of the Union’.

He has also accused Mr Farage of having double standards for using the money while vehemently arguing the government should not be able to use public money to campaign to stay in the EU.

Despite being anti-European UKIP have unashamedly been taking EU money for their campaigns for too long. Clearly this investigation will decide whether they are working within the rules, but morally their hypocrisy on this issue is shameless.
> Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group (EFDD), which is made up of Ukip MEPs and Eurosceptics from other countries

I treasure the image, conjured by Catherine Bearder, of UKIP and Italy's Five-Star MEPs, nominally in the same group, glowering at each other from opposite sides of committee rooms.

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