The Brexit Party leader has been given just 24 hours to appear in front of the Parliament’s advisory committee after being reported for not declaring the “£450,000” spent on him by Mr Banks after the European Union referendum. Nigel Farage has been given until 5pm on Thursday by the European Parliament’s code of conduct committee to explain why the funds were not declared on its register. MEPs are normally given at least a week for this but Parliament sources said the issue must be concluded before the next five-year term begins.
European Parliament President Antonio Tajani could punish Nigel Farage with a one-month ban from “parliamentary activity” if he is found to have broken the rules.
This would be the first time an MEP would have had their accreditation temporarily suspended in the Parliament’s history.
Mr Farage could then miss the new Parliament’s first sitting in July 2, where his 28 other Brexit Party MEPs travel to Strasbourg as the largest single party, and his chance of delivering a heroic victory speech.
But Mr Farage has hit back, raging: “What is this but an EU kangaroo court where I am given 24 hours notice about allegations picked up from press stories.
READ MORE: The Tory leadership candidates seeking ANOTHER Brexit extension
Brexit latest: Nigel Farage could be temporarily banned from the European Parliament
I will not be attending at such short notice and if they try to bar me from the building, who else gives voice to the thousands of people who voted for me? Is this democracy EU style?
“I will not be attending at such short notice and if they try to bar me from the building, who else gives voice to the thousands of people who voted for me? Is this democracy EU style?
“I did not receive any private money for political purposes. This committee would better spend its time investigating the waste of public money by well-known MEPs.”
The Brexit Party leader’s spokesman said any ban would be anti-democratic and suggested there is a political motive behind the investigation into funding.
The spokesman said: “Is the abuse of policy money by europhile MEPs better than allegedly accepting private donations?
“Is this value for money? I think not.”
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Brexit latest: The Tory leadership race has been reduced to 11 candidates
10.20am update: Gove dealt CRUEL blow as key party heavyweights endorse Johnson for PM
Boris Johnson has received a huge boost in the Tory leadership contest as three key moderates backed the Brexiteer.
The former Foreign Secretary has been declared a “proven winner” by a trio of influential ministers.
Rishi Sunak, Robert Jnerick and Oliver Dowden said Boris Johnson is a One Nation Conservative, The Times reported.
Mr Johnson is now in the lead with 40 public endorsements, 14 ahead of rivals, Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt.
Mr Sunak’s support is an enormous blow to Mr Gove who he previously backed along with Mr Jenrick.
David Cameron’s deputy chief of staff, Mr Dowden, previously backed Theresa May.
10.12am update: Esther McVey would only want ‘committed Brexiteers’ in her Cabinet until UK leaves the EU
The former Work and Pensions Secretary and Tory leadership candidate, who wants Britain to leave before the October 31 deadline, said she would only have a “Brexit-only” top team until that point.
She told LBC radio: “I believe at the moment we actually have to have a team that believes in Brexit.
“This is the most difficult delivery that we have got to give and we have got to give it by October 31.
“I think you need to have people who believe in Brexit to deliver this by October 31.”
10am update: No deal Brexit ’not a credible option’ – Matt Hancock
Speaking at a Policy Exchange event, the Health Secretary and Conservative Party leadership contender said the “most urgent task” facing a new Prime Minister was to achieve a Brexit deal that faced the “hard truths”.
He said: “A credible plan to deliver Brexit must be grounded in reality and the reality is there are hard truths.
“The first hard truth: no deal is not a credible policy choice available to the next Prime Minister.”
Brexit latest: Michael Gove has been dealt a blow in his bid to become Tory leader
9.52am update: Boris Johnson says Tories face ‘EXTINCTION’ if EU exit is delayed further
Boris Johnson has warned the party could face “extinction’ if there is any further delay to Brexit.
Mr Johnson was speaking to 100 MPs and The Daily Telegraph reported the former Mayor of London spoke of how his party was facing an “existential crisis” but affirmed his belief he would defeat Jeremy Corbyn and put Nigel Farage “back in his box”.
Mr Johnson had turned down a meeting with Donald Trump to focus on his leadership bid and take part in a hustings event with European Research Group (ERG) of Brexiteers.
The former Foreign Secretary ruled out calling a snap election and said he opposed a second referendum “with every fibre of my body”.
He went on to add: “We need to realise the depth of the problems we face – unless we get on and do Brexit we will be punished for a very long time.
“There is a very real choice between getting Brexit done and the potential extinction of this great party – but I believe I can take on Farage and win back the voters being won over by him.”
9.28am update: Pound rises to seven-day high before falling again
Sterling increased to $ 1.2723 against the US dollar before falling to an unchanged rate of $ 1.2701.
Against the euro it has remained under pressure, and lost another 0.1% to 88.72 pence, slightly above 5-1/2 month lows.
Promises from US President Donald Trump of a phenomenal post-Brexit trade deal have dine little to move the currency.
But the Purchasers Managers Index services survey is expected to show a small improvement to a reading of 50.6 in May from 50.4 in April, according to a Reuters poll of economists.
9.20am update: EU understands ‘they have to move on some things’ – Defence Minister
Brussels knows it has to “move on some things”regarding Brexit, Penny Mordaunt has claimed.
She told BBC radio: “In recent days, in my discussions that I have had with people on the EU side of the negotiating table, I’m really optimistic.
“I think they understand that they have to move on some things.”
Brexit latest: Boris Johnson has warned the Tories face ‘extinction’ if theEU exit is delayed again
9.14am update: Steve Baker could ENTER Tory leadership race don’t back no deal Brexit plan
The arch Eurosceptic could be set for his own Conservative leadership bid by demanding rivals back his no deal Brexit plan.
He is expected to say if boris Johnson and other leading Eurosceptic candidates don’t back his proposals, then he will enter the race himself.
The Sun has reported sources claimed Mr Baker has been preparing a bid for weeks.
One of the Tory contenders told the newspaper: “Steve is setting the bar too high purposely, so he can run himself – his plan is a one way ticket to no deal.
“He’ll have 15 members of the (Tory Eurosceptic group) ERG that (Tory MP) Mark Francois will whip up for him and then he’ll get knocked out.”
Under his plan – backed by 16 Eurosceptic Tories – Mr Baker says the UK should be ready to leave the EU without a formal deal in place, and trade on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules before a free trade agreement can be struck,
He adds “alternative arrangements” can be put in place to ensure a seamless border on Ireland.
The former Brexit Minister also insisted Britain withholds paying the £39billion divorce bill, instead applying a “substantial part” on tax cuts and to help businesses adapt to a no deal.
Mr Baker writes: “The new Prime Minister will have around three months further to prepare the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.
“It is vital they enter office with a clear and deliverable plan.
“This document presents the necessary plan. It is recommended the new Prime Minister should adopt the following proposals as the basis for Government policy.”
Brexit latest: Donald Trump has backtracked on his NHS trade deal comments
8.37am update: Donald Trump changes stance on NHS trade deal comments
The US President has done a u-turn on his suggestion that access for US firms to the NHS must be part of talks for a post-Brexit trade deal.
In a joint press conference with Theresa May on Tuesday, the US President said the NHS would be “one the table” as part of a “phenomenal” potential transatlantic deal.
But following a backlash from Tory leadership candidates, Labour and trade unions, Mr Trump changed his stance.
In an interview with Good morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan, the US President said: “I don’t see it being on the table. Somebody asked me a question today and I say everything is up for negotiation, because everything is.
“But I don’t see that as being, that something that I would not consider part of trade. That’s not trade.”
8.28am update: Rory Stewart rules out prospect of no deal Brexit
Tory leadership candidate Rory Stewart has pledged to rule out a no-deal Brexit if he becomes the party’s leader.
Setting out a six-point plan, the International Development Secretary attacked the main offers of rival Dominic Raab, who promised to keep no deal on the table, as well as cut income tax.
Instead, Mr Stewart said he would protect the Conservative “reputation for economic competence, adding that meant “taking no deal off the table” and delivering a “pragmatic deal” providing the “right environment for investment”.
His first priority to “maintain and deepen” the UK’s economic stability also included included ruling out unfunded spending commitments and avoiding “big promises of tax cuts that we cannot afford or that don’t add up”.
Mr Stewart said: “Candidates cannot on the one hand attack Jeremy Corbyn for fiscal irresponsibility and at the same time make unfunded promises.
“Candidates that are advocating a no-deal Brexit as well as tax cuts will – in one afternoon in October – lose us a reputation that we have spent 300 years building up.
“They would inevitably lead us towards ballooning deficit and debt, and critical pressures on our public services. It would be damaging and unnecessary.”