UKIP leader Nigel Farage has been accused of employing both his wife and an alleged mistress using European Parliament allowances.
The accusation was make by Nikki Sinclaire, a former UKIP MEP who now sits as an independent.
She asked Mr Farage: “With unemployment still a problem across Europe and indeed the UK, does Mr Farage thinks it is a fair use of taxpayers’ money, namely his secretarial allowance, not only to employ his wife Kirsten but his former mistress Annabelle Fuller?
“Is this a responsible use of taxpayers’ money?”
Mr Farage responded: “I don’t want to answer that at all, thank you.”
Under European Parliament rules, MEPs are allowed to employ members of their family, including spouses and children. Only British MEPs currently use this clause, leading to it being known as the clause anglaise.
The Telegraph reports that Mr Farage’s German-born wife, Kirsten, is employed by him on a salary of £20,000 per year.
Annabelle Fuller is also paid as “local assistant”, working in the UKIP press office in London.
The party hit back, with a spokesman saying: “The comments by Sinclaire are beneath contempt, and that person has abused parliamentary privilege to do so.
“Sinclaire is on police bail for a serious fraud charge. Sinclaire has been saying the same thing to anyone who would listen since 2006. Mr Farage has been asked about about Miss Fuller before and the answer has always been No, it is false.”
The comments come after another former UKIP MEP, Godfrey Bloom, said in an interview with the Times that Mr Farage has a “weakness for women”.
Ms Sinclaire describes herself as the UK’s first transsexual parliamentarian, after having surgery to become a women 20 years ago.
In February 2012, she was arrested on suspicion of defrauding European parliamentary expenses. She denies the allegations.
She was expelled from UKIP in 2010 after accusing Nigel Farage of sitting with “racist and extremist parties” in the European parliament.