UKIP leader Nigel Farage is under fire for receiving £15,000 in office expenses to run his constituency office in Bognor Regis despite paying no rent on the property.
The matter has been reported to the EU’s anti-fraud body which will investigate how Farage spent £60,000 of office expenses since transparency declarations about expenses began in 2009.
A former manager of the West Sussex office told The Times that Farage claims £15,500 for maintaining the office while bills and other non-rental costs amount to only £3,000 a year.
David Samuel-Camps, ex-political assistant to Farage between 2002 and 2010, told The Times: “Every month I’d contact Nigel one way or the other and say can you send me a cheque, you know the monthly cheque for however much it was.
“He would send me a cheque, which I recall was a personal cheque, which I would then put into our office account in Arundel. And then I would draw on that, as and when, for paying invoices.”
Farage said: “I don’t pay rent on the office but I obviously pay for everything else. Whether it’s the burglar alarm or electricity.”
He added: “About £1,000 a month is roughly what it is. Exceptionally I put more money in as and when it’s needed.”
UKIP said in a statement: “Nigel Farage is confident that he has abided by European parliamentary rules at all times when spending allowances.
“The Times has raised a number of ‘fishing type’ allegations, all of which lack substance as to their formulation and provide no substantive questions needing to be answered.
“In fact many of your questions are probably just as applicable to any of the other political parties contesting the forthcoming European elections with figures and statements duly amended to suit.”