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Farage: 'Not for me to defend £3,580 MEP allowance'

Ukip leader has refused to defend claiming a an MEP's monthly allowance of £3,580 because he says he wants the system abolished.

All MEPs are given a fixed allowance of £3,580 per month.

They do not have to provide receipts for any of that expenditure, but there is a list that gives suggestions of what the money might be spent on.

It is not for me to defend this system: after all, I want it abolished. Ever since 1999, I have expressly stated that Ukip MEPs will use the wherewithal provided by the EU Parliament to campaign for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

– Ukip leader Nigel Farage

Writing in the Independent, he said that reports which used the word 'expenses' were a "deliberate and cynical attempt to conflate the anger over MPs expenses with the way that MEPs work".

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Electoral watchdog asks Ukip for 'clarification'

The UK's election watchdog is writing to Ukip asking for "clarification" about the rent-free office at the centre of a row over Nigel Farage's use of Brussels' allowances.

The Electoral Commission said it wanted to find out if the rent-free arrangement should have been declared as a donation.

We are writing to the party to just ask for clarification around this office that has come to light.

We just want to find out if anything needs to be reported that perhaps has not been.

– Spokeswoman, Electoral Commission

Ukip leader Mr Farage has defended his use of MEPs' allowances and claimed he is the victim of a "political smear" following allegations about the money used to fund his constituency office.

Read: Farage story source accuses Times of misquoting him

The Times 'welcomes Farage opening up books'

The Times has responded to reports of Ukip leader Nigel Farage considering handing his expenses for independent scrutiny, after the newspaper claimed that he faces an investigation into £60,000 of "missing" MEP expenses. A spokesman for The Times said:

The Times welcomes Mr Farage's commitment today to open up his books to an independent auditor.

As our story states, the reporting was based on Mr Farage's own transparency reports.

Read: Farage story source accuses Times of misquoting him

Farage story source accuses Times of misquoting him

A Ukip office manager who was a source for a Times article about Nigel Farage's expenses has accused the newspaper of "distorting" the information he gave them to "smear" the party.

David Samuel-Camps said the article incorrectly stated that running costs of Farage's office near Bognor Regis were £3,000 per year, after Samuel-Camps had told the paper the cost was £8,400 a year.

"I was completely honest in my answers and resent the fact that those answers have been completely distorted," Samuel-Camps wrote.

He added that Farage's office was "nowhere near Bognor Regis", and was in fact "on the outskirts of Littlehampton".

The Times said the reporting in the story was "based on Mr Farage's own transparency reports".

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Nigel Farage 'faces £60,000 expenses probe'

Nigel Farage at the UKIP Spring Conference.
Nigel Farage at the UKIP Spring Conference. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Nigel Farage is reportedly facing an investigation into tens of thousands of pounds worth of 'missing' European Union expenses allegedly paid into his personal bank account.

According to the Times, Mr Farage has received around £15,500 per year since 2009 to pay for upkeep of his constituency office in Bognor Regis.

But the newspaper claims that the office - a converted grain store near Bognor Regis - was given for free to the party leader by Ukip supporters 15 years ago.

Once utilities and other non-rental costs are factored in, the Times estimates that around £12,000 a year is left unexplained.

A Ukip spokesman responded: “Nigel Farage is confident that he has abided by European parliamentary rules at all times when spending allowances.”

Nigel Farage: 'Miller's resignation is not enough'

Nigel Farage has said he does not think Maria Miller resigning as Culture Secretary is "enough" and it is time voters were given the right to sack MPs who have stepped out of line.

The UKIP leader also rejected any suggestion that his own party had been abusing the expenses system in the European Parliament by using the money for eurosceptic campaigns.

Ukip and Lib Dems 'fail to gain' in poll despite debate

Televised debates between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage over the EU have failed to boost either of the leaders' parties in the race for next month's European elections, according to a survey carried out by ComRes.

Read: Nigel Farage emerges on top again after second EU debate with Nick Clegg

Labour and the UK Independence Party are neck-and-neck in the race for next month's European Parliament elections, found the ComRes survey for The People.

The debate was moderated by David Dimbleby on BBC Two. Credit: BBC

Ed Miliband's Labour clawed back eurosceptic Ukip's two-point lead from March, leaving the two parties tied on 30% among those saying they are certain to vote.

Read: Nick Clegg vows to step up Europe campaign

Liberal Democrat ratings for the May 22 Euro-elections remained unchanged on 8%, while Conservatives were on 22%, one point up from their position in March.

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