The newspaper known as the mouthpiece of the political establishment is about to launch yet another attack on UKIP following new polls showing that the party is on course to win the European elections next month.
The Times is set to make more allegations about Nigel Farage’s use of European parliamentary allowances, many of which rely on claims made by convicted fraudster Jasna Badzak who is currently serving a suspended prison sentence.
The latest attack comes after opinion polls published at the weekend showed Mr Farage’s approval ratings soaring and UKIP easily ahead of the Conservative Party and neck and neck with Labour in voting intentions for the European elections.
Set out below is UKIP’s detailed response to new smears being peddled by the Times, which has run wave after wave of attacks in recent months:
“Nigel Farage is confident that he has abided by European parliamentary rules at all times when spending allowances.
“The Times has raised a number of “fishing type” allegations, all of which lack substance as to their formulation and provide no substantive questions needing to be answered. In fact many of your questions are probably just as applicable to any of the other political parties contesting the forthcoming European Elections with figures and statements duly amended to suit.
“The Lyminster office is not the sole address that incurs expenditure in the pursuance of Mr Farage’s job as an MEP, though it is the most important one. It is quite wrong to claim that he did not declare the rental arrangement with J. Longhurst LTD. until 2013. It has been in the register of members’ interests since 2003.
“Jasna Badzak is a convicted fraudster serving a suspended sentence, whose allegations are unfounded and vexatious. She has never been a press secretary or confidant of Mr Farage’s. To allege that he has transferred EU funds to an offshore account is entirely untrue. Your use of her indicates that you are writing an article with a defined end by inventing a road to achieve that end.
“Mr Martin Haslam never had any responsibility for EU money. He was, for a brief period responsible for the UKIP South East accounts.
“In relation to UK based staff paid from EU funds, they are approved constituency managers in line with advice given to us by the members’ services in Strasbourg.
“You are expected to quote this statement in full in any article you choose to publish.”