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UKIP blasts EU party cash rules

PUBLISHED: 16:21 21 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:18 24 February 2010

THE UK Independence Party has called new European Union proposals to bring funding of political parties in the Community under more direct control "a frightening development.

THE UK Independence Party has called new European Union proposals to bring funding of political parties in the Community under more direct control "a frightening development."

Before political parties or alliances can qualify for cash support, they will have to satisfy the EU as to their respect for democracy, freedom and the rule of law as well as being represented in at least three member states with at least 5% of the vote in each of those states.

Jeffrey Titford, UKIP's Euro MP for the East of England, said: "These

rules provide the EU with the power to wipe out its political opponents.

There are five pan-European parties in the European Parliament who will

qualify for this funding. The Socialists, the Christian Democrats/Tories,

the Nordic Group, the Liberals and the Greens.

"However, the EDD (Europe of Democracy and Diversity) Group to which UKIP belongs is an alliance of small political parties and would not qualify. "This is no coincidence. The EU knows that the EDD Group contains its most vociferous critics. It wants to get rid of us once and for all."

Mr Titford added: "The rules also make specific reference to the need for European political parties to hold seats on regional assemblies. This makes it abundantly clear who is behind the pressure for regional assemblies in Britain – and the people of the East of England haven't even been asked if they want one yet."

r Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott is cracking ahead with his plans to build thousands of "affordable" homes across the south-east. To ensure smooth progress, he has seconded one of his ministers, Barbara Roche, to oversee development on the Lea Valley-Stansted-Cambridge corridor while Tony McNulty will take charge of the Thames Gateway in southern Essex.


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