Brexit Party told to check every single £25 donation 'as soon as possible'

PUBLISHED: 15:23 18 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:23 18 June 2019

Nigel Farage.  (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Nigel Farage. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

2019 Getty Images

The Electoral Commission has told the Brexit Party to review every single donation received as part of a massive overhaul needed in its payment processing.

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The commission visited Brexit Party offices on May 21 to review the party's procedures for receiving funds.

READ: Brexit Party at 'high risk' of breaking electoral law over funding - but campaigners call for more action

The commission has now flagged seven "high risk" situations that the Brexit party should address "as soon as possible".

Written procedures around the acceptance of loans and donations are "thin in detail", and regional organisers are processing payments with "limited oversight", said the commission.

It says the party should review all payments, including those of £500 or below, to make sure they are allowed under government legislation.

Any not allowed should be paid back or handed over to the Electoral Commission.

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During interviews in the weeks running up to the election, Farage suggested that the vast majority of the party's support was coming from £25 donations, which the party accepts over PayPal.

Former prime minister Gordon Brown raised the alarm over the lack of oversight around the party's PayPal use, saying it could "fatally undermine ... the heart of our democratic system".

READ: Former PM calls for urgent investigation into Brexit Party's 'dirty money'

The commission's recommendations now point to numerous shortfalls in the party's processes for checking the origin of these donations.

The party needs to start taking full address and contact details from donors and making sure the billing address matches the donor's address, said the commission.

A 'Captcha' should be put in place "to mitigate against the risk posed by bots attempting to automate multiple payments", said the commission.

The party should not allow people to sign up as 'registered supporters' without completing the payment process, so that each £25 payment can be matched and attributed to a supporter.

The party should also lift the upper limit on online payments from £500 to £1,000 to streamline the process of checking multiple payments from big donors.

The party must also retrospectively report all goods and services offered to both national and regional organisers during the EU elections.

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