West Midlands MEP Nikki Sinclaire has been taking full advantage of the media limelight ahead of her new book coming out. But has she said too much? The Times reports:
“She claims to work 70-hour weeks and pointed out that she has donated £120,000 of her own money to her party since 2009. Last year, however, she was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud the European Parliament, allegations she denies, and remains on bail.”
£120,000 donated to her party, she says. Well according to the latest Electoral Commission figures, Sinclaire has made five donations since 2009, totalling just £28,583.61. That money went to UKIP, of which she was still a member, and the ‘Solihull and Meriden Residents Association’, which is itself registered as a political party. What about the other £90,000?
Perhaps the accounts of Sinclaire’s breakaway party, ‘We Demand A Referendum Now’, will clear things up? Up until December 2012, the latest accounts available, the party had total donations of a mere £566.56. Indeed that was the total income of the party for that financial year. The Electoral Commission website meanwhile says the party has never received any registrable donations. Guido is sure there is a perfectly innocent explanation, but where is the missing £90,000? Very odd…
UPDATE: Nikki’s office gets in touch, claiming that the £120,000 figure is what she calls a “subsidy” rather than a donation:
“Ms Sinclaire was misreported in The Times, something that has been discussed with the reporter in question, Lucy Fisher, who is issuing a correction. Ms Sinclaire told Ms Fisher that she subsidises her work to the tune of £120,000. In terms of her work, this £120,000 was audited as article 28, permissible expenditure by the EU.”