Nigel Farage was uncharacteristically tight-lipped in the European Parliament on Wednesday following a quizzing from MEP Nikki Sinclaire on the matter of employing his wife and his alleged “former mistress”.
The Ukip leader looked stony-faced as Sinclaire asked: “With unemployment still a problem across Europe and and indeed across 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?”
After prompting for his response, Farage answered "I don’t want to answer that at all," as chuckles from other MEPs were heard in the background.
Sinclaire, who used to be a Ukip MEP before joining the We Demand A Referendum Now Party claimed to The Independent that Farage’s affair was an “open secret” but that his “hypocrisy” now needed to be exposed. In 2010 she won a claim for sex discrimination against her former colleagues in Ukip, after she was expelled by Nigel Farage for refusing to sit with the party's allies Liga Nord in the European Parliament.
She told The Independent: “He points the fingers at other people and pretends to be clean himself, but Mr Farage is a well known manipulator and bully.” Her claims come days after another former Ukip MEP, Godfrey 'bongo bongo' Bloom said Farage had a "weakness for women." Bloom is a member of Ukip but sits as an independent MEP after a row at the party conference, where he jokingly branded a group of women activists 'sluts.'
Although MEPs have not been allowed to employ their spouses since 2004, those already working for their partners were allowed to remain in employment
Annabelle Fuller said in a statement: "I have been continually hounded by the press with these false allegations since 2006 including having journalists camp outside my house. It's a shame that as a woman I am considered fair game for accusations of alleged affairs.
"It's hard enough being a woman in politics without having to justify why I am employed. It is safe to say that this would not have happened if I was a man. Surely this is something that Nikki Sinclaire should have considered."
A Ukip spokesman told The Independent: "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 and I believe has no credibility. Sinclaire has been saying the same thing to anyone who would listen since 2006.Regarding Miss Fuller, Mr Farage has been asked about this before and the answer has always been No, it is absolute rubbish."