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UKIP MEPs donate nearly £500,000 in taxpayer money to... UKIP

UKIP Members of the European Parliament have donated almost half a million pounds from their taxpayer-funded salaries to their own political party, recent revelations have shown

by The Commentator on 25 February 2013 15:12

Nigel-farage

New research shows that UKIP Members of the European Parliament have donated almost half a million pounds from their taxpayer-funded salaries to their own political party.

Cash donations, rather than donations-in-kind, amounted to £425,947.76 from UKIP MEPs to the party. New figures from the Electoral Commission show that UKIP MEPs regularly donate sizeable chunks on their taxpayer-funded salaries to their party.

The money includes both small and large sums ranging from £340 a time, to a whopping £25,000. Since 2004, this has amounted to nearly half a million pounds, with £99,252 coming from the UKIP's North West MEP John Whittaker.

Stuart Angew, from the East of England, has given nearly £75,000, while Derek Clark MEP (East Midlands) has donated £66,000.

In a 2009 public debate with then Labour MP Denis McShane, Mr Farage said that since becoming an MEP in 1999, that he had received about 2 million pounds in staff and office allowances from the European Parliament, the same sum to which every MEP was entitled.

A UKIP spokesperson told The Commentator, "Some of our MEPs independently give money, which is not necessarily to say that it comes from their European Parliamentary wages. Some have other income sources.  On the basis of this story, anybody on the public payroll could be asked the same question of their salaries. An MP buying raffle tickets, a social worker donating to the local Labour party... Indeed if anything, it shows how much they believe in the cause, to donate wages to the party".

In 2012, two UKIP MEPs were forced to repay more than £37,000 in expenses which they had used to fund UKIP party workers in the UK. The EU claimed that the payments could be considered 'illegal indirect party funding'. 

While the practice has been long established by both the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats, the Conservative Party explicitly forbids the practice, with internal guidance ruling that, ‘payments to the Party must not come directly from the council nor should they be linked to the level of councillors’ expenses nor should they be compulsory.’

Since 2004, sitting UKIP MEPs have donated £425,947.76 to UKIP (Electoral Commission).

Breakdown:

o   Derek Clark : £66,178

o   Gerard Batten: £14,550

o   Godfrey Bloom: £18,417.34

o   Graham Booth: £67,908,21

o   Jeffrey Titford: £6,787.84

o   John Whittaker: £99,251.69

o   Lord Dartmouth: £13,900

o   Michael Nattrass: £13,233.46

o   Nigel Farage: £11,100

o   Nikki Sinclaire: £5,000

o   Paul Nuttall: £4,800

o   Roger Knapman: £16,500

o   Stuart Agnew: £74,321.22

o   Trevor Coleman: £14,000

Read more on: ukip, UKIP MEPs, European Union, political party funding, and Nigel Farage
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