How did UKIP get its hands on £1.5m in EU funds?

UKIP has received £1.5m worth of EU funding which was set aside for helping European countries integrate better.

It teamed up with other parties in the EU to form the Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe (ADDE).

Of the 27 members of ADDE, UKIP MEPs make up 21 of those, giving the party control over the £1.5m.

The party has received criticism for accepting the money, some of this from within its own ranks, as many people believe UKIP shouldn’t have taken money designed for integration, when it is not in favour of it.

UKIP member and head of the ADDE Roger Helmer said UKIP was right to take the money, even if it meant respecting EU rules and principles – something the party has been vocal about in the past.

“We are going to be criticised by those who say ‘you should turn your back on this money, you should take a principled stand and refuse it’”, Helmer told BBC Newsnight.

“But it doesn’t make any difference to the taxpayer.

“If we don’t take the money, it will not go back to the member state of the taxpayer. It will simply go to those other foundations committed to further European integration.”

However, London UKIP MEP Gerrard Batten said the party had previously agreed to reject EU money in this way.

“I’m not interested in being part of a European political party. The members of UKIP weren’t asked. There’s been no consultation.

“We had a referendum last time which was expensive. I can’t think of any arguments that would make me want to join. I think the feeling among the activists is that they won’t be in favour of it.”

This isn’t the first pan-European group UKIP has been a member of. In October, the party lost funding after a group it was a member of dissolved.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Anonymous

    I expect those who voted for the party and took them to first place in the European elections would feel much safer with these "integration" funds in the hands of UKIP than with the "ever-closer-union" clones who continue to use them to destroy our sovereignty. This type of funding is nothing new. All EU parties get it and UKIP has received it in the past. The faux-surprise shown on Newsnight about this issue last night was truly pathetic.

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