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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

EU puts UKIP under the cosh on funding

I wrote a few months ago about how much UKIP is dependent on European funding for its survival and how that is being threatened by Brexit. I have also alluded to the alleged breach of rules that has seen the EU seek to claw money back from the party.

Now, as a result of that breach the Guardian reports that Ukip and its allies will be asked to provide bank guarantees in order to unlock a lucrative tranche of EU funds.

The paper says that a UKIP-dominated group, the Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe, will have to give the European parliament a guarantee from a bank with a top-notch credit rating in order to gain €1.1m (£920,000) of EU funds. The ADDE, which has 16 Ukip MEPs, including Nuttall, would also see a sharp reduction in advance payments, as EU authorities want proof the money will not be misspent:

The European parliament is tightening controls on political party funding, after several Eurosceptic groups were found to have misused EU grants. In one of the biggest cases of its kind, the UKIP-led ADDE was found to have misspent more than €500,000 of EU funds. Almost 85% of the money had been channelled into Ukip’s 2015 general election campaign, in breach of EU rules banning spending on national politics.

The ADDE has been ordered to repay €172,655 before the end of the year and has lost €248,345 in grants it had been counting on.

To avoid a repeat of this scenario, European parliament officials are demanding unprecedented “risk-mitigation measures” on ADDE’s 2017 grants, according to an internal report seen by the Guardian. The president of the European parliament, Martin Schulz, and other senior MEPs are expected to endorse the plan at a meeting in Strasbourg on Monday night.

The ADDE is eligible for €1.1m of EU funds in 2017, but must have an “unconditional” guarantee, valid for at least two years, from a bank with an A1 credit rating, according to the report. Instead of the usual 80% upfront payment on 1 January, the UKIP-dominated group would only be entitled to a 40% advance. The bank would be released from its obligation once the European parliament’s auditors had checked the party had spent the funds in line with EU rules.

In practice, the clause could choke off this source of funds for Ukip and its allies.

Meanwhile a Eurosceptic think tank allied to UKIP will see its EU grant frozen, as the parliament investigates alleged fake donations.

The Institute for Direct Democracy in Europe is suspected of having accepted donations linked to contracts it subsequently awarded. The contracts could be seen as a payback for the donation, which the group needed to secure EU funding.

Pan-European parties and think tanks need to raise at least 15% of their money from outside donors in order to receive EU funds.

Parliament officials have raised “serious concerns as to the qualifications of these donations” and think it is doubtful that money paid to the donors or companies linked to them can be treated as eligible expenditure, the report says. An EU grant worth €268,000 has been suspended pending further investigation.

So when UKIP politicians make accusations about the abuse of public money within the EU, they are actually talking about themselves.
Does anyone believe that the European Parliament will be impartial in judging UKIP?
Hit UKIP and the others in the pocket by not forwarding any money until the accounts are clear.This misuse of money should be pointed out nationally. Ashcroft and Banks should do the funding only as UKIP should not be paid anything from the EU an organisation they want to destroy (even if that is not democratic)
Talking about Ashcroft, Banks Farage listen to BBC4 Profile programme Sunday December 11th at 5 in the afternoon.To me they sound like they were/are Bullington club spoilt little rich boys who have not grown up but with too much power nd using it to cause disruption. If the party can exploit the programme we should do so.
What is it about UKIP and fraud ? It makes very grim reading I'm afraid.
Anyway here are UKIP’s 1st XI Team Fraudsters. Probably missed a few as well.

1 Ashley Mote MEP UKIP MEP South-East England Jailed for 9 months Benefit fraud 2007

2 Tom Wise MEP UKIP MEP East of England Jailed for 2 years Expenses fraud 2009

3 Derek Clark MEP UKIP MEP East Midlands forced to repay £31,000
Expenses fraud 2012

4 Graham Booth MEP UKIP MEP South West England forced to repay £5,555 Expenses fraud 2012

5 Cllr Peter Lagoda UKIP Councillor Cambridgeshire County Council
12-month community order Benefit Fraud of £25,000 2014

6 Hugh Mennie UKIP Council candidate in Cambridgeshire Fined £110 plus costs, and disqualified from the election process for five years
Forging signatures on his nomination form 2013

7 Richard Wilkins UKIP Candidate in Isle of Wight Disqualified from the election process for five years for forging signatures on his nomination form 2013

8 Cllr Matthew Smith UKIP Councillor Norfolk County Council.
UKIP candidate for Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner.
UKIP Parliamentary candidate in Great Yarmouth
Charged with 7 counts of supplying a nomination paper to a returning officer knowing it to contain a forged signature and 3 counts of producing forged nomination papers. Sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work and disqualified as a county councillor2014

9 David Kendrick UKIP Parliamentary candidate for Cambridge in 2015. The British Horseracing Authority banned Kendrick from attending any races it organised for 4 years Guilty of corrupt and fraudulent acts. He laid bets on horse races using inside information, colluding with owners and jockeys who had deliberately ridden horses to lose. 2011

10 Jasna Badzak, UKIP Parliamentary Candidate Westminster North 2010. Researcher and Press Officer for UKIP MEP Gerard Batten 12-month month prison sentence suspended for two years Guilty of forgery and fraud of £3,000 2013

11 Clive Page UKIP Press Officer during the Hartlepool by-election in 2004 80 hour community punishment order for benefit fraud of £5,486. Making two false representations in order to claim £3,543 housing benefit and £1,943 council tax benefit. 2004

Here's another two!

12. September 2016. A former UKIP MEP’s chief of staff has been given a suspended jail term, and has to carry out 40 hours unpaid work after asking a restaurant to amend a £900 bill to more than £3,000 for a fraudulent expense claim. Christine Hewitt, who was assistant to Janice Atkinson MEP, pleaded guilty at Canterbury Crown Court to fraud.

13. April 2016. Steven Gillingwater, Ukip election agent in Slough, pleaded guilty to two counts of causing or permitting a false statement to appear in a nomination paper in relation to the Slough Borough Council local elections in May last year.

The offences were committed between March 26, 2015 and May 9, 2015, and the 26-year-old was sentenced to 16 weeks imprisonment for each offence at Slough Magistrates' Court yesterday (Monday), to be served concurrently, suspended for 12 months.

Fraudulent behaviour, I'm afraid, is endemic within the Ukip ranks.

So now we've enough for a UKIP Fraudster Rugby League team ! Any more ?

Next target a Rugby Union side.

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