UKIP’s Brussels whistleblower resigns

By politics.co.uk staff

Marta Andreasen, the EU’s former chief accountant who lost her job after blowing the whistle on the state of European accounting, has resigned from her post as UKIP’s treasurer over an argument about how the party runs its finances.

The news comes in a bad week for the anti-EU party after their leader, Nigel Farage, announced he will be stepping down to focus on his Brussels work and on his forthcoming general election campaign against Speaker John Bercow in Buckingham.

In what will undoubtedly play a part in the ensuing leadership campaign, Mrs Andreasen cited the party’s leaders as the reason for her resignation.

“I resigned because I disagree with how the party is being managed at the level of the chairmanship,” she told The Times .

“There have been certain breaches in the procedures that I have implemented, therefore I warned the NEC [National Executive Committee] this is not the way I want to handle the finances of the party.

She added: “I do not want to see funds being wasted, and the management of this party needs to wake up”

Mrs Andreasen’s appointment as treasurer in 2007 was seen as something of a coup for the party. It was thought her high-profile position as a Brussels whistleblower would help restore faith in the party’s finances.

“I have increased the trust of the donors and this can be seen in the financial position of the party today, which is the best it has been for years,” she said.

“I am committed to the party but I think that the party needs to understand that it has to be a more mature organisation.

“We do not have the funds that the Conservatives or Labour have, so we need to make very good use of the funds we do have.”

She said her decision was made final following the actions of party chairman – and MEP for the North West – Paul Nuttall, who wanted to double the salary of an official without her approval.

Mr Nuttall said he and Mrs Andreasen had different ways of working, but both remained committed to work for the benefit of the party.

“Let’s get one thing perfectly clear. I am the party chairman. I get paid to make decisions,” he said. “If those decisions do not work then it is my head on the chopping block.

“Marta and I have different methods of working. However, I do not have a problem with Marta and Marta does not have a problem with me.”

Her resignation may cause further financial difficulties for the party as Stuart Wheeler, the man who gave it £100,000 for the European elections, has previously cited Mrs Andreasen as one of the key reasons for his decision to switch allegiance from the Conservatives.