Nigel Farage faces fresh investigation into funding

PUBLISHED: 16:26 22 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:26 22 May 2019

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage with an ice cream in Canvey Island while on the European Election campaign trail. (Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage with an ice cream in Canvey Island while on the European Election campaign trail. (Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

A European Parliament committee is to investigate a complaint about Nigel Farage for allegedly failing to declare payments made to him by Arron Banks, a parliament source has confirmed.

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The complaint about the Brexit Party leader was submitted to European parliament president Antonio Tajani by British Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder

Under European parliament rules, MEPs must declare payments made to them, or other support given by third parties.

On Tuesday, Tajani referred the issue to an advisory committee of five MEPs that investigates the conduct of members.

Farage will be invited to comment before the committee makes a recommendation on possible sanctions.

The committee will not sit until the June 4 at the earliest, after this month's European elections, the source said.

Nigel Farage claimed that the Electoral Commission had "not found a single misdeed by the Brexit Party" - but the watchdog did not support the claims.

Farage told crowds at a rally: "Let me make clear to all the conspiracy theorists. Our money comes from this growing mass movement of people."

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He did not address the news of a European Parliament committee investigation.

The Electoral Commission said their review of the Brexit Party is "on-going".

A spokesman said: "Our review of the systems in operation by the Brexit Party is on-going. This will inform our regulatory work following the European Parliamentary elections and any recommendations we make to the party.

"We will also make any recommendations on the wider issue of the workings of the political finance rules in our statutory report on the administration of the poll."

The spokesman said raising small donations and using online platforms was "legitimate" and "increasingly common in politics".

However, he added: "Both open up additional risk in relation to compliance with UK political finance law.

"This risk is that it increases the potential for individuals or organisations to evade the permissibility rules, which primarily seek to prevent significant sums entering UK politics from overseas.

"It is the responsibility of any organisation adopting such an approach, and campaigning to influence people's votes at an election, to ensure it has the systems in place to maintain its compliance with the law."

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