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Funding for Ukip think tank suspended after financial fraud allegations

More financial trouble from Ukip. For all its disdain over the management of European Union finances, Ukip itself is in trouble over allegations of abuse of EU funds by a think tank linked to it:

The European Parliament suspended payment of some €90,000 to a think tank linked to Nigel Farage’s UKIP because of suspicions that it obtained donations via improper means, according to a document obtained by POLITICO.

In the latest of a series of financial setbacks to hit Euroskeptic parties and associated bodies over allegations of misuse of public funds, the UKIP-linked Institute for Direct Democracy in Europe (IDDE) could be deprived of €88,924.58 in funding due to the suspension approved by Parliament’s leaders.

Last month, the Parliament sought to recover €173,000 in funding from the Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe (ADDE) group of MEPs, of which UKIP is the dominant member, and suspended payment of €501,000 in grants. The Parliament has also sought to recover €339,000 from Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front. [Politico]

The think tank allegations are that donations from outside sources were faked into order to hit the fundraising levels required to qualify for European Union funding. Rather than receiving genuine donations, it is alleged, the think tank arranged to receive money from donors who were then rewarded by granting them contracts with the think thank.

Ukip is also under investigation by the Electoral Commission for financial abuse, even as its own donations have slumped.

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