UKIPwatch was, like most observers, quite bemused by Commission whistleblower turned UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen’s sudden resignation as the party’s treasurer. The official story is that Andreasen fell out with UKIP party chairman and North-West MEP Paul Nuttall over the salary of an unnamed party official.
Nuttall, who is clearly going to run for the party leadership following Nigel Farage's decision to resign and stand against House of Commons speaker John Bercow, seems to be the main subject of Marta the Martyr’s ire. In her words:
“I resigned because I disagree with how the party is being managed at the level of the chairmanship (Nuttall’s job)
“There have been certain breaches in the procedures that I have implemented, therefore I warned the NEC this is not the way I want to handle the finances of the party” adding, finally, that “I do not want to see funds being wasted, and the management of this party needs to wake up.
However, rest assured dear reader, because Marta the Martyr’s sudden attack of the morals and Road to Damascus conversion in seeing what UKIP truly are, does not mean for one second that she will resign as the party’s MEP and give up her 88,000 euro salary.
Andreasen’s resignation is a disaster for UKIP. At one stroke, by getting a Spanish lady and well known whistleblower to stand as an MEP and sort out their finances, UKIP were able to distance themselves from accusations that they were a racist party who hated foreigners, and also to portray themselves as a ‘clean’ party, unaffected by the expenses scandals which afflicted the three major parties. Despite the fact that, at one stage five UKIP MEPs were under investigation from the EU’s anti-fraud office OLAF for misuse of parliamentary funds, that Ashley Mote MEP (who UKIP have assiduously tried to airbrush out of recent history) being convicted on multiple counts of benefit fraud, and that Tom Wise is soon to face trial for money laundering and false accounting, UKIP got away with it in the June elections. Most people did not care about UKIPs dodgy financial history; they only wanted to give the major parties a great big kick in the bollocks because of the expenses scandal. As a result, UKIP, having faced virtual wipe-out just weeks before the election, suddenly found themselves with a completely undeserved poll boost and 13 seats in the European Parliament.
Now, UKIP are humiliated, having lost, along with Farage, their main electoral asset. Indeed, Stuart Wheeler, a gambling millionaire who made one of the world’s worst bets when he give William Hague’s Tory party £5m just before the 2001 election where the Tories got stuffed on a comparable scale to their 1997 drubbing, gave £100k to UKIP earlier this spring on the grounds that “the unimpeachable Marta Andreasen...is now the treasurer of UKIP, and one of the main reasons for voting for them”. Oh dear, there are a few people with egg on their faces now, aren’t there?
One point that UKIPwatch found particularly interesting was Nuttall’s assertion that “I am the party chairman. I get paid to make decisions”. Fair do’s mate, but you’re are also an MEP and your 88,000 euro salary plus expenses is paid for by taxpayers like me.
UKIPwatch was also highly amused by the fact that Marta the Martyr chose to work for UKIP, the most crooked and downright deceitful party in British politics (though not as extremist as the fascist BNP), with two of its elected parliamentarians either jailed or facing trial for financial impropriety, and a long running scandal with the Electoral Commission over illegal donations.
Still, as the lovely Nigel Farage put it, “Marta...is now an MEP and busting EU fraud is a full-time job”. Busting UKIP financial fraud is clearly a job that is too big for one person.