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Tuesday, 27 October 2009

UKIP and their corrupt financial model


Article from the times

The high-profile Brussels whistleblower who became the treasurer of UKIP has stormed out of her new post and blown the whistle again — over the anti-EU party’s financial decisions.

Marta Andreasen, who achieved notoriety when she was sacked as chief accountant of the European Commission for exposing the appalling state of EU accounts, was appointed treasurer of UKIP in 2007 to “restore faith” in the party’s finances.

Her appointment was seen as a huge coup for the party, but her resignation is likely to unsettle donors, not least Stuart Wheeler the gambling millionaire, who was expelled by the Conservatives for giving UKIP £100,000 for the European elections. He cited Mrs Andreasen as a key reason for his switching allegiance.

Mrs Andreasen told party leaders she was quitting during an executive meeting where she pointed the finger at Paul Nuttall, the party chairman, for pushing through decisions she could not support. “I resigned because I disagree with how the party is being managed at the level of the chairmanship,” Mrs Andreasen told The Times.
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“There have been certain breaches in the procedures that I have implemented, therefore I warned the NEC [National Executive Committee] this is not the way I want to handle the finances of the party.

“I do not want to see funds being wasted, and the management of this party needs to wake up,” she added.

Her departure comes as an embarrassment for UKIP as it enjoys a wave of support with 13 MEPs, including Mrs Andreasen, returned during the European elections in June. The party came second, ahead of Labour.

It also exposes deep internal tensions as the party embarks upon a leadership campaign to replace Nigel Farage. The charismatic figurehead is stepping down to concentrate on Brussels and his own general election challenge to John Bercow, the Speaker of the Commons, in Buckingham.

Mr Nuttall, an MEP in the North West, is seen as a possible replacement for Mr Farage. However, Mrs Andreasen said that the last straw came when Mr Nuttall wanted to double the salary of an official without her approval.

Mr Nuttall said last night that the salary decision had the full backing of the NEC. He admitted that he had a different working style to Mrs Andreasen but insisted that they would continue to work together for the benefit of the party.

“Let’s get one thing perfectly clear. I am the party chairman. I get paid to make decisions,” he said. “If those decisions do not work then it is my head on the chopping block.

“Marta and I have different methods of working, however I do not have a problem with Marta and Marta does not have a problem with me.”

Mr Nuttall said that he was still considering whether to run for party leader.

Mr Wheeler said in March that “as the unimpeachable Marta Andreasen, the EU’s chief accountant, sacked for exposing incompetence and fraud in the EU, has pointed out, our own scandal here [Westminster MPs’ expenses] is nothing compared to the EU gravy train. She is now the treasurer of UKIP, and one of many reasons for voting for them.”

Mrs Andreasen, who will remain a UKIP MEP in the South East, was sacked by the European Commission in 2004 after revealing her concerns about accounting standards.

Lord Kinnock, who was then the Commission’s vice-president, accused her of “disloyalty and breach of trust” for telling MEPs her concerns.

She added: “I have increased the trust of the [UKIP] donors and this can be seen in the financial position of the party today which is the best it has been for years. I am committed to the party but I think that the party needs to understand that it has to be a more mature organisation.

“We do not have the funds that the Conservatives or Labour have so we need to make very good use of the funds we do have.”

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