With Dermot #Murnaghan putting the boot in over office expenses, Farage explains how his office electricity bill was £3,000. It’s all the machines…
Guido said this morning that this would get messy, and as predicted, one of the Times’ sources is now kicking back. In a letter to the journalists who wrote the story, David Samuel-Camps says he was misquoted:
“Mr Kenber and Mr Mostrous,
Re: Nigel Farage and office costs
I am extremely concerned that in your report you have distorted my responses to your questions regarding the Lyminster office costs.
On the front page you quote me as stating that the costs were £3000 per year. This is grossly incorrect. I told you that the previous manager had tied the office into some supply contracts and as a result the monthly costs were some £2000. I told you several times that I eventually reduced the costs to £700 per month. When I went to school we were taught the times tables and that £700 times 12 equals £8400 (which is not too far removed from Mr Farage’s £1000 per month) so where on earth did you come up with a figure of £3000?
At no time did I say that “electricity, heating, and business rates at the office totalled less than £250 a month”. I told you that I could not remember the individual amounts as it was over four years ago but they would have been in the region of £200 each.
Later, you then contradict yourselves by quoting me as saying that the costs were £700 per month – which is correct. You asked me a number of times about the £700/month figure which I confirmed several times; again I have to ask how does £700 per month equate to £3000 per year? I should also point out that our conversations were witnessed.
To the best of knowledge and belief I was completely honest in my answers and resent the fact that those answers have been completely distorted. I did warn you that there is a small minority who are “mischief makers” – one in particular who would go to any lengths to destroy Mr Farage’s reputation.
I expect you to publish corrections as outlined above.
Finally, I should point out that the Lyminster is nowhere near Bognor Regis; it is on the outskirts of Littlehampton, a fact that could have been verified by looking at an AA road atlas!
David Samuel-Camps BA (Hons) Dip. PA”
To a completely impartial observer like Guido, this doesn’t look good. If what Samuel-Camps is saying is true they should go to the PCC…
A very grumpy Farage has directly attacked Times Editor John Witherow and Danny Finkelstein:
Guido is not sure ‘well I haven’t murdered anyone’ is the best line of defence…
The Times have done over Nigel Farage this morning, reporting that £60,000 of taxpayer cash paid into his personal bank account is unaccounted for. The £15,500-a-year was for the upkeep of his constituency office in Bognor Regis, but since Farage gets it rent-free the accusation is that he only spends £3,000-a-year on running costs. Leaving around £12,000-a-year missing. No doubt it will turn out to be within the European parliament’s lax rules. It doesn’t smell right, even if the payments are automatic.
UKIP pre-empted the Times splash yesterday by naming the anonymous ex-party official who has grassed Farage up to the EU anti-fraud office as Jasna Badzak:
“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. Your use of her indicates that you are writing an article with a defined end by inventing a road to achieve that end.”
Just one problem: the Times tells Guido that Badzak was not the source of the story. This could get messy…
Jailed expenses crook Jim Devine has been ordered to pay his former office manager £18,000 in damages after a judge ruled that he had defamed her to cover up his own criminality. Marion Kinley alleged Devine had “stated I’d stolen significant sums of money while office manager and the reason I did this was because I had a serious gambling problem”. The judge agreed “that when he made these statement he knew them not to be true and that they were made maliciously” and that Devine’s evidence was “incredible” and “implausible”. This is one Jim won’t be able to charge to the taxpayer…
Nigel Farage was down in Basingstoke last night to twist the knife into Maria Miller. His “big announcement” wasn’t really very big or even that much of an announcement – turns out he wanted to tell us that Miller’s constituents should have the right to recall her. Beforehand Jon Snow had the chance to ask some awkward questions about UKIP’s own expenses. There’s plenty of material to work with on this issue but Snow didn’t really land a blow…
Gary Gibbon points out that Miller was pushed after her PPS’s multi-vehicle pile up on Sky News. MacLeod went to pieces when confronted with her text message, revealed exclusively by Guido, citing a Leveson witch-hunt:
“I was told by one government source that Maria Miller’s PPS’s appearance on Sky News and her text message to Tory backbenchers saying the attacks on Maria Miller were a media witch-hunt were “the final straw.” This “should never have been said,” another government source said.”
The wheels were off by the time discipline had collapsed and anger led to leaking.
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