Brexit Party accused of allowing 'fake members' to donate money from anywhere in the world

Greg Evans
Thursday 16 May 2019 11:00
news

Nigel Farage's Brexit Party is being accused of allowing fake members to sign up for their party and give donations thanks to a PayPal loophole.

An investigation by The Mirror found that it was possible to join the party as Russian president Vladimir Putin, using his Kremlin address and donate £25 via PayPal.

PayPal allows for payments to be made from credit cards anywhere in the world and the recipients of the payments are not informed as to where the money is coming from.

The likes of Labour, Lib Dems and Change UK do not use PayPal for their donations. They could still potentially receive money from foreign investors but a paper trail would be created thus making it much harder.

The Conservatives also require donors to pay using their own card or as a registered user of PayPal, which would also create a paper trail.

A loophole in the law means that payments to political parties that are under £500 aren't considered to be 'donations' but parties are only required to collect information on donations that are over £500.

People wishing to register as members of the Brexit Party have to make a payment of £25 as a 'membership fee' but there is no way of governing that cash as no regulations are in place to monitor those types of fees.

Labour MP, Chris Bryant is quoted by The Mirror as saying:

A fake party, with fake members offering fake solutions. That sums them up.

This comes shortly after Farage announced on Twitter that the party, which was only established in January already has over 100,000 registered supporters ahead, who have all paid £25, which would equate to £250,000.

Farage has thus far been coy about where the Brexit Party's funding has been coming from.

In April he was asked in the co-founder of Leave.EU Arron Banks was involved in the party to which he resolutely said "no."

Later, that month he told LBC's Iain Dale that the party had received "one big donation" from an unspecified person.

That's the fascinating thing, the most exciting thing. We've done this all via the website. 

We're now over 70,000 people who are registered supporters of the Brexit Party and they've all paid their £25 online. 

At this stage we've received one big donation, which will be revealed in good time. 

Yet, just two days ago in another LBC interview, he revealed to Nick Ferrarri that the donation had come from the Tory donor Jeremy Hosking.

There is one person who has given a big amount of money who named himself, he didn't need to, because this all gets registered with the Electoral Commission.

But Jeremy Hosking, he's been a big Conservative donor and he's given two big donations to the party.

The Brexit Party currently lead the polls for the upcoming European Elections with Farage confirming that the party also plans to field candidates in the next General Election.

The Brexit Party and PayPal have been contacted for comment and this article will be updated should we receive a reply.

Update:

A statement submitted to Indy100 from a PayPal spokesperson reads as follows:

We cannot comment on the specific details of any PayPal customer’s account.

However, we take seriously our responsibility to ensure money is sent through PayPal in compliance with local laws and regulations.

If we find evidence of any violation of our policies or local laws, we will take action.

As you will know, UK political parties are regulated by the Electoral Commission, which is responsible for ensuring that parties comply with UK laws on donations.  

HT Mirror

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