It has been reported that UKIP is going through a period of serious financial concern, with party staff going unpaid, as well as lay offs in the two offices in Devon and London. The Mail on Sunday reports that “[o]ne party source blames ‘Nigel’s U-turn’ – when Mr. Farage resigned as leader in the wake of his failure to win the Thanet South constituency only for him to change his mind shortly afterwards – for alienating supporters.”
The news will come as no surprise to party insiders, who never expected to be flush with cash especially after their only Member of Parliament Douglas Carswell denied the party access to “short money” it is entitled to after securing four million votes and a seat in Parliament at a General Election. The briefing, those in the know have told Breitbart London, reflect an ongoing, anti-Farage movement inside the party.
Specifically, a briefing seen by senior party staff ahead of the Mail on Sunday‘s coverage named UKIP donor Arron Banks and former treasurer Andrew Reid as those responsible for the lack of party finances. This claim was received despite it now being six months on from the General Election.
And the fingers of blame for the briefing are being pointed, internally, squarely at a senior, elected UKIP official.
On the financial side, it has become clear in the past few months that instead of outright rejecting tax payer money, as he claimed, UKIP MP Douglas Carswell has in fact hired new staff working under him. This, despite telling his friendly press contacts: “I’m not an American senator and not even an American senator would have 15 staff and a parliamentary office that spends £650,000 on staff.”
But Mr. Carswell’s staff has expanded as of late – he now has three office staff, and is a director of the party’s Parliamentary Resource Unit. Breitbart London understands there are other mechanisms which allow the party MP access to more cash, though it is currently unclear what this money is being used for.
While the party has been forced to lay off members of staff, and struggles to communicate with its shrinking membership as a result, entries in the register of members’ interests reveal payments from the Mail on Sunday for £1450 for 7 hours work over August and September of this year.
One row in particular that has erupted in the past few weeks is over a Facebook advertising bill which cost the party £80,000 during the election period.
During the election, the Treasurer, as well as senior party staff, signed off all such expenditure, but the bill received after the election was seen as an unwelcome surprise by some, with anti-Farage factions blaming the office of the leader for the expenditure.
Mr. Farage doesn’t see it as a waste of money however, as UKIP’s social media reach grew exponentially during the election period. In the immediate aftermath of the election, Mr. Farage even stated publicly that the social media outreach was a crucial part of achieving the four millions votes the party received.
But what the whole story in the Mail tells us now, is that firstly, the party is in financial dire straits, and needs the support of its grassroots now more than ever. Secondly, that there are still those in the party who are willing to put the organisation’s reputation and existence at risk simply to remove Mr. Farage from the equation.