Marta Andreasen – UKIP’s very own pro-EU MEP – has been demanding that EU officials allow an independent audit of the EU’s books. LINK
"It was now the time to get a real external and independent auditor to audit the books of the EU and tell the taxpayers where the money is spent.”
"We should not give any more money to the Commission until these people accept an external auditor…engaged and paid for by the member states.”
For more on Marta: LINKMost laudable. So can we now expect Marta to call for a FULL INDEPENDENT AUDIT of UKIP’s finances, including those of UKIP's MEPs?
Don’t forget that in July 1999, Meridian TV’s Phil Hornby put a question to Nigel Farage, and received in response an unequivocal answer. An answer that has now come back to haunt him.
Hornby: "Is there something, Nigel Farage, a touch hypocritical about you flying out on these free flights and enjoying the restaurants and so on of the parliament here, and enjoyng the gravy train, so-called, life of an MEP? How do you square that circle?"
Farage: "You will remember that right through (the 1999 Euro campaign) that we said we are not going on the gravy train; that we are the only people who are intending, annually, to publish so that the public can inspect them, our expense accounts, our allowance accounts, and the excess that we get - the excess that we are forced to take - particularly on travelling allowances, we are going to be putting into a trust fund and that money will be used to help victims of the European Union in our country, so I do reject the allegation that we’re on the gravy train and there’s certainly no chance of the three of us going native."
He lied. Eleven years on and still no trust fund or a full audit of the accounts.
And don’t forget that a unanimous resolution passed at the NEC meeting of 17 November 1999 stated: "The NEC re-affirms its control over MEPs expenses and allowances, in accordance with the pledge signed prior to the Euro-election. Substantial allowances are being deposited within MEPs accounts which must come under NEC control for the benefit of the Party. Messrs Stone King, Solicitors, have been approached with a view to setting up the 'Trust Fund' promised to the electorate. The NEC wishes to take matters forward to counteract negative statements in the Press but is reluctant to incur legal expenditure without a guarantee of compliance by the MEPs".
Minutes of the meeting were circulated to branch chairmen and candidates on 24 November 1999 with a covering letter that included: "Enclosed is a copy of the agreement signed by all Euro election candidates prior to June 10th. This is a matter of a serious nature which must be resolved. The Party is not receiving the benefit in the way that was promised to Party members and to the public who voted for us".
The trust fund was quietly forgotten.
And what about the £211,000 that ‘vanished’ from UKIP's South East’s accounts?
And what about Farage’s failure to account for 85% of the money raised through the Ashford call centre?
And what about Farage’s failure to account the €6,000 a year travel budget for each UKIP MEP or the £2 million that he claimed in expenses as an MEP?
There is little point in Marta attacking EU bureaucrats for failing to be open and honest about the EU's finances when her own party is just as lacking in transparency. Some would call that hypocrisy of the highest order.