Nigel Farage (UKIP) Admits to Taking £2,000,000 in Expenses

May 19, 2009

UKIP party leader Nigel Farage has dealt his party a death blow by “cheerfully” announcing that he has taken “more than £2 million in expenses” from his time in the European parliament - over and above his salary.

The shocking comment was revealed during a lunch Mr Farage had with former Labour Minister for Europe, Denis MacShane MP, after a Foreign Press Association conference on the future of the European Union yesterday (image alongside).

The news firmly places UKIP into the same bracket as all the other Westminster political parties with regards to ripping off the hard pressed taxpayers in the shocking expenses scandal which has engulfed all the political parties in Britain - Except the BNP.

Talking on today’s BBC 2 Daily Politics Show, Mr Macshane was trying to defend his own personal outrageous expenses claims - and those of his colleagues - when he suddenly announced that this sort of thing was everywhere.

“I was with Nigel Farage of UKIP yesterday afternoon debating and he said quite cheerfully - you know what Nigel is like - I have got two million pounds in expenses from the European Parliament,” Mr Macshane said, obviously hoping that the announcement of this bit of thievery would somehow excuse his own.

Mr Farage’s outrageous claims could not have come at a worse time for his party, struggling as it is after losing 25 percent of its MPs after the 2004 election, with two of them being arrested for fraud.

With the latest revelation, observers are now asking the question if Mr Farage himself - over whom there have long been questions about his financial probity linked to his refusal till now to reveal any audited statement of his expenses - will be able to avoid the fate of his colleagues already arrested for exploiting the expenses system.

A secret European Parliament report, the details of which were earlier leaked but largely suppressed by the media, uncovered what it described as “extensive, widespread and criminal abuse” by Euro-MPs of staff allowances worth almost £100 million a year.

Senior Euro-MPs and European Union officials have tried to hush up an internal audit that found severe problems and endemic misuse of funds worth at least £98.4 million a year, more than £125,000 for each of the 785 Euro-MPs.

Such is the extent of the abuse found in a sample group of 167 Euro-MPs that “terrified” parliamentary authorities have shrouded the report in secrecy and security.

Only Euro-MPs on the Parliament’s budget control committee are allowed to see the report. To do so, they must apply to enter a “secret room”, protected by biometric locks and security guards. They may not take notes and must sign a confidentiality agreement.