Nigel Farage is facing an investigation into an undeclared £450 000 spent on him by insurance tycoon Arron Banks, which he claims were personal gifts.
Our correspondent wanted to know if this seemingly farcical excuse had any truth to it so he donned his best fur hat, put on his Russian accent and snuck into Mr Farage’s exclusive birthday bash. Sitting on a bejewled throne, the anti-elitist MEP was approached one at a time by guests who knelt before him, proffering their gifts on silver trays whilst keeping their heads bowed.
The gifts from Banks – who is currently being investigated by the National Crime Agency for his role in the Brexit campaign – included a Land Rover Discovery with driver, rent on a £4.4 million property in Chelsea and trips to the US to meet with right-wing politicians. They all came in the year immediately following the Brexit referendum.
But those gifts were nothing to this years crop. First up was a representative from Chinese telecomms giant Huawei who presented the birthday boy with his own personal 5G coverage. This was quickly followed by a key to Buckingham palace; a sprawling 100-acre bot farm in the Belorussian countryside; and a live yeti, with careful instructions that it was only to be fed on the bones of the poor, something Farage seemed quite at ease with.
None of the gifts were claimed on the European parliaments register of interests, designed to prevent MEPs keeping possible conflicts secret.
As the number of people yet to deliver up an offering dwindled, increasing suspicion began to fall on our correspondent and he made a hasty retreat. Not, however, before seeing the gift delivered by a representative of Vladimir Putin. As we all know Nigel loves a good laugh, and Vlad had secured a brilliant novelty gift: 100 pre-stuffed ballot boxes for the European Elections. Our man says they were so good as to be almost indistinguishable from the real thing. What a character.