MEP Nigel Farage, whose Brexit Party now has 29 MEPs and is in talks to join the far-right bloc in the European Parliament, may be suspended from his lucrative (£90,000 a year) job as an MEP.
The European Parliament has issued Farage with a summons to a hearing on Wednesday afternoon at its code of conduct committee to explain why he failed to declare almost half a million in donations from Brexit-backing financier Arron Banks.
A Channel 4 News investigation revealed that Arron Banks who has also been linked to meetings with Donald Trump and Russian officials splashed out on Farage’s £13,000-a-month Chelsea home during the Brexit referendum, as well as US visits and a chauffeur-driven car.
Banks has been opaque over the sources of the financing he gave to the campaign to leave the EU, which has now been referred to a criminal investigation, though he denies wrong doing.
Another Channel 4 investigation also revealed that Banks’ Leave.EU organisation faked footage of “migrants” assaulting women which went viral – a report Banks described as “fake news” itself.
If the Committee finds Farage broke rules on undeclared donations as an MEP, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani will ultimately decide what sanction to take.
If Farage updates the register of gifts and explains his behavior, he could be afforded leniency, as he otherwise faces a month ban from his seat as an MEP – meaning he will miss an opportunity to make a victory speech in July as head of his parliamentary group.
But belligerent Nigel Farage branded the conduct committee an “EU kangaroo court” and insisted he would not attend.
Farage dubbed the calls for him to register his £450,000 donations from the secretive tycoon, according to European Parliament rules, an attack on everybody who had voted for the Brexit Party.
The summons was issued two hours after the Brexit Party leader was spotted entering the US Embassy to meet Donald Trump.
Nigel Farage visited Donald Trump after Trump held a press conference with Theresa May in which the US President voiced support for Brexit and a US-UK trade deal that would include the NHS.
Following their meeting, Farage said on his LBC show that Trump “absolutely believes in Brexit,” and “thinks it’s the right thing for the country to do.”
“He is very interested as to who the next Conservative leader and Prime Minister is,” Farage told listeners, and Trump is “very very prepared for their side of the negotiation.”
The Brexit Party leader, who has been an MEP for two decades now, was fined half his salary last year for misspending EU funds which were meant to be to pay for staff.