11:52 GMT +322 October 2019
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    Members of the European Parliament take part in a vote on the situation in Hungary during a voting session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, September 12, 2018

    UK Tory MEP Group Ordered to Repay €500k of EU Funds Spent on Luxury Events

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    Reacting to the development, the co-founder of the Tory group slammed Brussels’ allegations as “outrageous” and “absurd.”

    The Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (Acre), a Tory group co-founded by Brexit-supporting MEP Daniel Hannan, has been ordered to repay €535,609 (circa $605,000 at the current EUR/USD exchange rate) for misspending EU funds.

    European parliament leaders convened in a close-door meeting earlier this week following an investigation into Acre’s spending, later notifying the group that it is expected to return the funds, according to a Guardian exclusive.

    READ MORE: UK Joining FTA Viable 'Middle Ground' Between EU and No-Deal Brexit — Campaigner

    Brussels will reportedly issue a formal demand for the money to be returned next week, arguing it was spent on events of “little relevance” to the bloc.

    In addition to this, the group will not receive a scheduled €200,000 payment from the union.

    Specifically, European parliamentarians questioned why Acre deemed it suitable to spend a quarter of a million euros on a three-day event held at a luxury beach resort in Miami, especially as the audience was largely made up of Americans, and EU-related issues weren’t a major component of the agenda.

    Furthermore, the Tory group was also scrutinised for spending €90,000 on a “trade summit” held at a five-star hotel in the Ugandan capital, though UK officials did meet with their African counterparts to discuss post-Brexit trade deals.

    Mr. Hannan has been a proponent of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU long before Brexit and dismissed the allegations brought against him as “absurd” and “outrageous.”

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    spending, trade, Brexit, Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (Acre), UK Government, European Union, Daniel Hannan, United States, United Kingdom, Brussels
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