These are difficult times for former UKIP Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage. No longer with a party to lead - and with the Kippers in their current state, it ain’t a party he would want to lead - and with his LBC show attracting ridicule for his ability to be seriously economical with the actualité, the Farage credibility is taking a knock.
Squeaky no £73k a year payout finger up the bum time
Worse, he is having to resort to appearing on outlets like Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse), which is having its own Little Local Difficulty right now, with advertisers backing away from top-rating hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. But that would at least be tolerable, if it were not for those pesky European Commission fraud investigators, who have been on Mr Thirsty’s case for some time now.
The EC’s OLAF anti-fraud directorate had already caused Farage’s MEP salary to be stopped as a means of clawing back money he is adjudged to have fiddled from the Commission. Now they have come for that coveted pension, to which he had declared he was entitled when challenged about it recently on The Andy Marr Show (tm).
Even those in the press who had been favourably disposed to him found the news hard to take, notably the Murdoch Sun, which told readers “NIGEL Farage has been accused of ‘shameless hypocrisy’ by refusing to give up his £73,000-a-year taxpayer-funded EU pension. The former Ukip boss is entitled to the money for his work as an MEP, and the Brexiteer defended keeping it by brazenly asking: ‘Why should my family suffer?’”
Farage declined to take part in any Parliamentary elections after 2015, and it was strongly rumoured that part of his reasoning was to stay on as an MEP until 2019, by which time he would have put in 20 years’ alleged service - we’re talking a very broad and generous definition of “service” here - and would therefore be entitled to that £73k pension payout.
The bad news, as Far Right Watch has revealed, is that Mr Thirsty can hang around the payout window in Brussels as long as he wants come next year, but there will be no pension - not while he is under investigation. After Evangelina Oliveira had Tweeted “A sight for sore eyes! Farridge minus his perennial smirk. Rumor has it, his pension is being confiscated by the #EU”, the enquiries began in earnest.
And Far Right Watch confirmed yesterday “After many phone calls to Brussels, CONFIRMED. #Farage and seven other #Ukip MEPs (so far unnamed) will have their pensions withheld in escrow until the completion of all current Fraud Investigations, pending results and possible financial penalties”. Wallop!
There was more: “How would you all like the icing on the cake to this story ? Ready ? Here it is. Apparently, we hear, #Farage just found out ... from our post”. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving gobshite. And it’s not as if Mr Thirsty did’t know it was coming.
After all, he told Andrew Marr “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.”
So his prediction has come true, and he can have no complaints. What a clown.