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MEP hits out at BNP funding

Right-wing parties in the European parliament, including the British National Party, are entitled to something close to 300,000 Euros in public funds, and there is now an argument about whether they should get it.

Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan argues that distinguishing between one party and another for state funding is difficult, and believes the concept is flawed.

"I would much rather not have any state funding. I'm simply pointing out that a consequence of having this system where the politicians can compel donations is that either you end up funding fascists, or you end up - which is even worse - arbitrarily deciding which parties get the money and which don't," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Dan Hodges disagrees and argues that it is possible to distinguish between mainstream political parties and extremist parties. "If we are going to have state funding then we have to have criteria... If the BNP can have them then they can have the money."

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on 30th January 2013.