The original article was posted in full on the 5th of May 2017.
The Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe, a Ukip-controlled EU Parliamentary group, was asked to return over one-hundred-and-seventy thousand Euro, after officials uncovered a breach of the rules arising from the alliance pouring money into the United Kingdom’s 2015 general election and the Brexit referendum. UKIP spent the EU funds on polling and analysis in constituencies where they hoped to win a seat in the 2015 general election, including in South Thanet – a seat which Farage contested. The party also funded polls to gauge the public mood on Brexit, months before the official campaigning began.
The EU report on the misspending concluded that “these services were not in the interest of the European party, which could neither be involved in the national elections nor in the referendum on a national level. The constituencies selected for many of the polls underline that the polling was conducted in the interest of UKIP. Most of the constituencies can be identified as being essential for reaching a significant representation in the House of Commons from the 2015 general election or for a positive result for the leave campaign.”
It has previously been established that Russia interfered in the 2015 general election and foreign powers were involved in cyber-attacks during Brexit.
The report also concluded there were “a substantial number of activities for which financing ought to be considered as non-eligible expenditure,” in respect of spending on polls around the Scottish and Welsh elections in 2016.