A row has broken out within Ukip over what the party should do with the £650,000 of taxpayers’ money it is entitled to having won nearly 4 million votes at the general election.
Douglas Carswell, the Ukip’s only MP, has said Ukip should be “prepared to reject” the “short money” – funds given to opposition parties to cover the cost of support staff, research and other costs incurred in carrying out its parliamentary business.
The libertarian politician is a strong campaigner in favour of smaller government and reducing the cost of politics – a view very much in line with Ukip’s call to cut back on government bureaucracy.
However Nigel Farage wants the party to accept the money it is entitled to and use it to represent the 4 million people who voted for Ukip.
Officials from the party proposed that Mr Carswell use the £650,000 funds to hire 15 staff – a move he disagreed with – according to The Times.
He told the Guido Fawkes website that Ukip does not need £650,000 of taxpayers’ money to run the office of one MP. The party should only accept £350,000, he suggested, thereby saving taxpayers’ £300,000.
“I don’t think we need a vast amount of taxpayers’ money to do the job,” said Mr Carswell, who joined Ukip after defecting from the Conservatives last summer. “We should be different, we should be prepared to reject taxpayer funding. We don’t need to be on the gravy train to fund staff. UKIP should be about saying no to the political trough. Not taking our fill.”
Best General Election 2015 quotes
Best General Election 2015 quotes
1/10 1. "Am I tough enough? Hell, yes, I'm tough enough."
Ed Miliband bats away suggestions he would be too weak on the international stage. It likely to go down as one of the quotes we remember this election by.
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
2/10 2. "If I'm getting lively about it, it's because I feel bloody lively about it."
David Cameron attempts to prove how passionate he is about wanting a second term as Prime Minister after Tory donors criticised his lack of enthusiasm.
3/10 3. "Oh it's crats? I thought it was Liberal Demo-cats"
Reality TV star Joey Essex is taught a thing or two during his meeting with Nick Clegg.
4/10 4. "Brain fade"
Green party leader Natalie Bennett gave what was described as the "worst political leader's interview ever" on LBC Radio as she fails to answer how the Greens would pay for its ambitious housing policies.
5/10 5. "We're a shining example of a country where multiple identities work. Where you can be Welsh and Hindu and British, Northern Irish and Jewish and British, where you can wear a kilt and a turban, where you can wear a hijab covered in poppies. Where you can support Man Utd, the Windies and Team GB all at the same time. Of course, I'd rather you supported West Ham"
David Cameron experienced his own brain fade when he forgot which football team he supported.
6/10 6. “This is a real career-defining … country-defining election that we face in less than a week’s time”
The Prime Minister made another gaffe when he made it sound like the election was all about himself.
7/10 7. “Ed Miliband stabbed his own brother in the back to become Labour leader. Now he is willing to stab the United Kingdom in the back to become prime minister.”
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon launched a vicious personal attack on Ed Miliband.
8/10 8. "Ajockalypse Now."
The colourful term used by Boris Johnson to describe a Labour government propped up by the SNP.
JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
9/10 9. “The SNP are openly racist. The anti-English hostility, and the kind of language that is used about and towards English people, is totally extraordinary.”
Nigel Farage launches an attack on Nicola Sturgeon and her SNP party.
10/10 10. "Terms are like Shredded Wheat. Two are wonderful, three might be too many."
David Cameron rules out a third term as Prime Minister.
Mr Farage has a very different view, however. Responding to whether Ukip should accept the full amount it is entitled to, he told Guido Fawkes: "Douglas is the MP for 4 million people and we need to represent them properly.”
It comes a day after Mr Farage was re-appointed as leader of Ukip, withdrawing his resignation after “overwhelming” support from the party’s members in favour of him staying.
Mr Carswell, believed to have been dismayed by the move, dismissed suggestions he would re-join the Conservatives, saying: “I’m 100% UKIP, and right now I’m 100% of Ukip in Westminster”.
He was asked repeatedly if he supported the decision to keep Mr Farage as leader but declined to respond directly.
Mr Carswell was one of the panellists at a question and answer session in London organised by Conservative Home when he was asked his views after Ukip’s national executive refused to accept Mr Farage’s resignation.
He replied: "I heard about the unresignation on, I think Twitter, or whatever. You'll need to ask me about it later I'm not going to talk about that now.”Reuse content