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UKIP group asked to repay 'misspent' EU funds
[STRASBOURG, France] The European wing of Britain's nationalist UKIP party will have to renounce hundreds of thousands of euros of EU funding after misspending part of the grants on campaigning in Britain, including for Brexit, the European Parliament said Monday.
Following an audit, the parliament's bureau found that a number of invoices from the European political party Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe (ADDE) "were not in line with the rules governing grants to parties and foundations."
"The ADDE will now not receive the remaining 20 per cent of the grant - 248,345 euros (S$376,000) allocated for 2015 and will need to reimburse a sum of 172,654 euros from the 80 per cent of the grant which was advanced to the party," it said.
"The activities of the ADDE which were found to breach the rules for European party financing, were nine opinion polls held in the UK ahead of the 2015 general elections as well as ahead of the EU referendum in 2016, and a report on these polls," it added.
While Britain's vote to leave the EU was a triumph for UKIP and its co-founder Nigel Farage, who stepped down from the leadership following the referendum, the party has since struggled to capitalise on the vote and has been beset with infighting.