Monday, February 12

Election watchdog investigates UKIP "financial irregularities"

So, UKIP is being investigated by the Electoral Commission for alleged financial irregularities. This news should not surprise readers of UKIPwatch where this was predicted (although it may surprise Devil's Kitchen, the blogger/crank who has a shorter fuse than Colonel Gadaffi and talks as much sense)!

The election watchdog, which says it is also investigating a series of "separate issues", was concerned that UKIP's accounts were filed more than six months late (not surprising - how hard can it be for a party with just 16,000 members to count its membership subs?).

Of further intrigue is the Sunday Telegraph's investigation which revealed that former bookmaker Alan Bown has been bankrolling the party to the tune of £1 million, providing 40 per cent of the party's declared funds over the past four years.

As well as bankrolling UKIP, Mr Bown is a member of the party's national executive committee and the main organiser of UKIP's campaigns. He also pays for the party's day-to-day running costs (including staff wages) out of his own pocket and intends to continue to do so. While Mr Bown's donations have been properly recorded, over £1 million has fallen below the Electoral Commission's radar because UKIP claims they are under the "reportable limit".

Nigel Farage's take on this has been to blame UKIP's tardy accounting on its lack of a full-time treasurer. If Farage expect people to believe his pleas of poverty, when his party spent more than Labour and the Lib Dems at the last European elections and continues to take cash from multi-millionaire donors, then his powers of self-delusion are more impressive than we thought.

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