UK & World News
Farage Hits Back Over EU Expenses Claim
UKIP leader Nigel Farage is facing questions over allowances he received as an MEP from the European Union.
Mr Farage has dismissed claims made in The Times newspaper that he is facing an investigation over allowances received for his constituency office as "outrageous, ridiculous and absurd".
According to the newspaper, he received around £60,000 since 2009 for the upkeep of a converted grain store in Lyminster, near Bognor Regis, West Sussex.
However, it claims the property was gifted to him by UKIP supporters 15 years ago.
A former office manager, David Samuel-Camps is reported by the newspaper as claiming the offices only cost £3,000 a year to run. Mr Farage says running costs are £1,000 a month.
However, Mr Samuel-Camps on Tuesday wrote to The Times saying he had been misquoted and that he told reporters the annual costs were £8,400.
On the eve of the newspaper report, UKIP posted a fierce response on its website dismissing the story as "smears" from the "mouthpiece of the political establishment".
Mr Farage has said he is taking legal advice on how to proceed, suggesting he might take action over the allegations.
The party claims the attack is politically motivated because of Mr Farage's soaring approval ratings in the polls over the weekend.
A further ComRes poll in The Independent on Tuesday morning put UKIP 1% up in the polls on 12% - with the Conservatives down 1%.
Mr Farage told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We have used the money to promote the cause of Britain leaving the European Union and we have done that unashamedly."
He said the party's expenses had not been independently audited as they did not need to be under the rules, but they had consulted lawyers to make sure all was in order.
Mr Farage added: "The real point of course here is that UKIP ultimately don't want any of these allowances, we don't want British MEPs costing the taxpayer all this money."
The party said in its statement the office was not the only address Mr Farage claimed allowances for and that he had declared his rental agreement for the grain store.
According to The Times, a former senior UKIP official has filed a formal complaint about Mr Farage to the EU anti-fraud office.
UKIP said the claims had been made by a former party worker, Jasna Badzak, who was now serving a 12-month suspended sentence for conning £3,000 from UKIP†MEP Gerard Batten.†
The Times, however, has said she was not the source of its story.