Farage slams 'vindictive' Eurocrats after he has £35,000 docked from MEP salary in row over staff costs
- Nigel Farage is being docked £35,000 from MEP salary in staffing costs row
- Ex-UKIP leader accused of using expenses for assistant who did work for party
- Mr Farage said Eurocrats were being 'vindictive' after the historic Brexit vote
Nigel Farage raged at 'vindictive' Eurocrats after it emerged he is being docked £35,000 from his salary in a row over staffing costs.
The former UKIP leader, who recently complained that he was '53, separated and skint', is being punished after EU parliament watchdogs concluded he had misused funds.
He has been accused of using official budgets to pay assistant Christopher Adams, even though he was not working on parliamentary business.
Mr Adams' contract was suspended last year.
Nigel Farage during a parliamentary session last year. He accused Eurocrats of being 'vindictive' in the wake of the Brexit vote
The European Parliament in session in Strasbourg. Mr Farage has been an MEP for two decades
A EU parliament source told the Guardian: 'Since 1 January  the European parliament has withheld 50 per cent in order to recoup the €40,000 due in salary that was paid to Christopher Adams and which cannot be proved by Farage.'
Mr Farage confirmed to MailOnline that his pay was being witheld but insisted he 'absolutely rejected' any suggestion of wrongdoing.
'It is guilty until proven innocent,' he said.
'They can do whatever they like. Since Brexit they are just being vindictive.'
Mr Farage said the situation was 'very difficult' and the punishment was 'arbitrary'.
'I have been (in the European parliament) 20 years. I absolutely reject what they say.
'But it is difficult to know what I can do about it.'
Docking Farage's pre-tax MEP salary of €8,484 a month would mean he would have repaid his 'debt to the EU' by October 2018.
MEPs earn €101,808 a year before tax and receive thousands more in expenses for staff, travel and office costs.
Mr Farage has previously been accused of 'shameless hypocrisy' for agreeing to take a £73,000 tax-payer funded EU pension.
The former UKIP leader (picture giving an interview yesterday) is being punished after EU parliament watchdogs concluded he had misused funds
As an MEP, the former Ukip leader will be entitled to an annual pension of £73,000 when he reaches the age of 63. He is currently 53.
The pension could be part-funded by Britain's estimated £50 billion 'divorce bill' - if there is a Brexit deal, reports the Sunday Times.
Asked on BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show if he would accept the money, Mr Farage replied: 'Of course I would take it. I have said that right from day one. Why should my family and others suffer even more.'
Mr Farage said he did not expect the money would ever be paid.
'Given the arbitrary way the European Union behaves in terms of money, I would be very surprised if I get any of it. I don't think it will even occur,' he said.
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