Farage claims European parliament investigation is ‘politically motivated’ as deadline for hearing is extended

Arron Banks (left) with Nigel Farage. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA.

Arron Banks (left) with Nigel Farage. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

The European parliament has extended the deadline for Nigel Farage to present himself at a hearing as investigators argue he broke rules over his failure to declare funding.

Farage was asked to attend the parliament to give an explination by 5pm on Wednesday, but this is now expected to be delayed until next week.

He had refused to attend in person to explain himself, partly because he was in London meeting Donald Trump on Tuesday evening.

A source close to Farage claimed that press reports about the hearing were "prejudicial" and maintain details should have been confidential.

They argue the reports show that the case is "politically motivated" against Farage.

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The investigation could lead to Farage receiving a ban for up to a month for breaking the rules - which includes having his access badge withdrawn.

Such a ban would mean the leader of the Brexit Party would not be able to lead his MEPs when it first sits again.

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Millionaire Brexit backer Banks is alleged to have given Farage as much as £450,000 in kind following the EU referendum, which included a chauffeur-driven car, rent and bills on a £4.4m Chelsea home, and trips to the United States to meet right-wing politicians.

The investigation was sparked following the Channel 4 News investigation - who were subsequently banned for a short period from Brexit Party events during the European election campaign.

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