THE UK’S election watchdog is to investigate Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party after Gordon Brown raised concerns about their “dubious” funding. The former prime minister said he had written to the Electoral Commission with concerns about a web-based donation system that allows individuals from all over the world to anonymously donate up to £500 via PayPal.

The Electoral Commission will visit the offices of the Brexit Party to review how it receives funding. A spokesperson said the visit was part of its “active oversight and regulation” of donations.

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Farage – who yesterday became the latest Brexiteer to be pelted with a milkshake – described the remarks as a “smear” and accused Brown of “jealousy”. The ex-Labour leader made the claim during a speech in Glasgow. He called on the Electoral Commission and the European Parliament to “investigate the finances of Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party".

“Democracy is undermined when we have undeclared, unreported, untraceable payments being made to the Brexit Party," said Brown. "We have the potential for underhand and under-the-counter payments being made.

The National: Former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown exchanged criticism with Nigel FarageFormer Labour prime minister Gordon Brown exchanged criticism with Nigel Farage

“You know the history of this – Leave.EU, Nigel Farage and Arron Banks’s campaign – is now under criminal investigation. We found out last week that Banks has given £450,000 in payments to support Nigel Farage, while Nigel Farage was in a public office in the European Parliament, and should have been declaring the payments that he was receiving from anyone to avoid any conflicts of interest.”

Brown added: “Now we find the Brexit Party that has been formed is not a party, it’s actually a private company. It doesn’t have members, it has shareholders. The key shareholder, with the controlling interest, is Nigel Farage.

“And you pay money not to become a member, but to become a supporter, and you pay through PayPal and you cannot discover whether the money is coming from foreign sources or British sources.”

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Farage replied: “This from the man who was part of a Labour Party who, through Lord Levy, were making a lot of big donors members of the House of Lords. Most of our money has been raised by people giving £25 to become registered supporters and nearly 110,000 of them now have done that.”

A spokesman said: “As part of our active oversight and regulation of these rules, we talk regularly to parties about ensuring they have robust systems in place so that they comply with the law.”

Meanwhile, a 32-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of common assault after Farage was hit by a milkshake in Newcastle.