European Parliament tightens UKIP purse strings

The Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe (ADDE), dominated by Nigel Farage's UKIP, will only be entitled to a 33% advance in 2017. [European Parliament/Flickr]

The European Parliament on Monday (12 December) decided to impose stricter conditions on financing for the European wing of Britain’s anti-EU UKIP party, which has previously been penalised for misspending EU funds.

The Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe (ADDE), a European political grouping dominated by nationalist UKIP, is among six organisations — four political parties and two foundations linked to them — which will only be entitled to a 33% advance in 2017, compared to the usual 80%, parliament said in a statement.

The six organisations will also have to provide a “first-call” bank guarantee for the equivalent sum, it said.

Brexit minister fails to impress in Strasbourg, UKIP under investigation

UK Brexit minister David Davis has taken part in his first official meetings on the continent, to disappointing reviews, while the UK has decided to investigate whether UKIP’s funding of its Brexit campaign breached any laws.

At its meeting in Strasbourg, the parliament’s bureau, its president and 14 vice-presidents also decided to suspend funding for the ADDE-affiliated Institute for Direct Democracy in Europe, “in view of allegations about the practices of collecting donations in order to create or increase the IDDE’s required own resources, in order to be eligible for a parliament grant”.

The ADDE had earlier come under scrutiny for soliciting European funds to finance “non-eligible expenses” linked in particular to campaigning in Britain by Nigel Farage’s party, including for surveys ahead of the 2015 general elections and the referendum in June this year in which the country voted to leave the EU.

The Brief: UKIP 'used EU cash' for Brexit campaign

UKIP allegedly used almost half a million euros of EU cash to pay for its Brexit and election campaigns, in breach of European Parliament rules.

It has had to renounce €420,000 in funds allocated for 2015.

The three other European parties targeted by the stricter rules are the Alliance for Peace and Freedom, the Coalition pour la Vie (CVF) and the Europeans United for Democracy (EUD).

Since July 2004, European political parties can receive annual funding from the European Parliament, which can cover up to 85% of eligible party expenses.

 

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