The Twitter pronouncements of Dan, Dan The Oratory Man have been few and far between the past few days, which is unfortunate, as it prevents Hannan’s adoring public from knowing his innermost thoughts following the decision of senior EU leaders to order his European Parliament group to repay €535,609 of EU funds. Moreover, that group has had a further €187,245 withheld - pending further investigation.
The Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists In Europe, or ACRE, is the group established after Young Dave pulled the Tories out of the mainstream centre-right EPP group. Back then, it was called the ECR. Now, it’s called out for fraud.
As the Guardian has reported, “Among parliament’s objections was €250,000 spent on a three-day event at a luxury beach resort in Miami. While the keynote speaker was listed as former Spanish prime minister, José María Aznar, the conference had ‘an almost exclusively American audience’, the parliament found, with an agenda that hardly mentioned the EU”. And there was more in the same vein.
“It also questioned €90,000 spent on a trade ‘summit’ at a five-star hotel on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kampala, where a largely British delegation met African delegates to discuss post-Brexit trade … The ‘Great Lakes Trade summit’ in Kampala brought together a mostly African audience to meet 20 British politicians and participants, with only three attendees from continental Europe”. So what say Dan to all that?
“Hannan said the IFT [his group] had ‘never had or sought the slightest benefit from any European programme’ and was ‘one of two dozen organisations’ that participated in a conference on removing barriers to opportunity in developing nations. ‘Even by Brussels standards, to try to turn that participation into an insinuation – they don’t actually allege anything – that a conflict “could be considered” is outrageous.’”
ACRE has also joined in the rebuttal. “Making its defence in Latin, Acre said it was a victim of ‘fumus persecutionis’, meaning that the legal proceedings are intended to impede legitimate political activity”. I never heard sponging called legitimate political activity before.
Sadly for Hannan and his pals, “British conservative sources sought to distance themselves from ACRE, an organisation they helped to create, which has been described by some party insiders as ‘Daniel Hannan’s travel agency’ … A spokesman for British Conservative MEPs in Brussels declined to comment, referring questions to the Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) in London”. And it got worse.
“The European parliament’s top leaders rejected the group’s defence in a closed-door meeting on Monday night. The bureau of presidents, led by the European parliament president, Antonio Tajani, agreed without discussion that Acre should repay the sum”.
Daniel Hannan - so hot on EU waste, he and his pals decided to indulge in a bit of it themselves. The protests are understandable, as they’ve probably spent the loot. But it’s our money Dan - and you wouldn’t want to be seen diddling taxpayers, would you?
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