POLITICS

Nigel Farage Will 'See Good Sense' In Ukip Row Over Money, Says Douglas Carswell

13/05/2015 10:31 BST | Updated 13/05/2015 10:59 BST
Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive
UKIP leader Nigel Farage (right) with Douglas Carswell after a press conference in central London where the Conservative MP defected to his party today.

Ukip MP Douglas Carswell has said he hopes Nigel Farage sees the "good sense" in his decision to reject the £650,000 of taxpayers' money he is entitled to claim, despite demands from some in the party that he spend it.

The internal Ukip row over the money was made public yesterday, amid suggestions Carswell was not happy that Farage had decided to "unreisgn" and u-turn on his promise to step down as party leader.

Under House of Commons rules, Carswell is able to accept the so-called Short money, which is allocated to opposition parties based on the number of Commons seats and votes they win at an election. Some Ukip officials have asked Carswell, Ukip's only MP, to employ a team of 15 people in his office using the money.

However Carswell told BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning it would be "completely inappropriate" for him to do so. "There are one or two rather excitable staffers in Ukip who came up with a proposal that involved hiring 15 extra people. I would point out that I’m not an American Senator; I doubt very much that even Ed Miliband when he was leader of the opposition would have had 15 staff in his office," he said.

"Ukip is meant to be different and Ukip is going to be different. I think we need to make absolutely clear that when we spend money we’re doing it because it is the right thing to do, not just simply because the money is there."

He added: "I’m absolutely certain that, that Nigel will see the good sense of this. I know that all of those people who voted for us because they want political change will recognise that here at last is a party that is prepared to actually practice what it preaches."

On Monday, Carswell repeatedly refused to endorse Farage's decision to remain as leader of Ukip. However he told the BBC today that he was "very pleased indeed" that Farage had chosen to remain in post.